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Margaret Carlson

Go ahead, let teens trade naked selfies for mugshots

Published on Apr 11, 2014 12:04 PM
A model taking a selfie on a cellphone. More teenagers are taking naked photos of themselves and sharing them online. Parents often cite the fear of invading their children's privacy as reason not to intervene. But the writer says parents need to step in and "invade away" to rein in sexting. -- PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

WILL teenagers ever learn? You think yours will. Maybe so. But it's likely that was also the hope of the parents of children who were so shamed by nude photos of themselves that went south - how else can they go - that they killed themselves.

Sexting hasn't ended, despite the misery it causes and the hope that easily bored teens will move on to something else. There were two fresh highly public outbreaks this month in the United States. The largest spread across six counties in Virginia, where more than 1,000 pictures of naked 14- and 15-year-olds were pinged by 100 teens on Instagram.

The fun stopped when a mother found some unfortunate photos on her daughter's Instagram account. The kid had been playing a game - a variation of "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" - in which teens could get access to nude photos of others by posting one of themselves.

In the second incident, a group of middle-school children in Barrington, Illinois, an affluent suburb of Chicago, was sexting. Will pre-pubescent teens be next?

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