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MySpace Teens Face Felony Charges

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, January 17, 2008 4:44 PM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Property Owners Liability, Teens


Children can be child with distributing child pornography if they post nude pictures on MySpace.


It probably happens everyday. 

Take teenagers, sexually adventurous behavior, mix in digital photography and a way to share the adventure with your friends on MySpace and you have a formula for a felony child pornography conviction.

In Jacksonville Beach, Florida, some middle schoolers have been busted by one curious mom.

The mother of a Fletcher Middle School student decided to check her daughter’s MySpace page, which is a good way to find out what your kids are doing.

She followed the link posted by another student and that led to photos of kids having fun. But there was also at least one sex video and some “disturbing photos”.

She contacted police who have downloaded evidence, have contacted corporate MySpace to try and retrieve internet records to find out who is responsible. They believe they are all juveniles.

Sex charges will be pursued and distribution of child pornography is a felony. The sex site has been taken down and the school is offering Family Night” on January 24th to teach local parents how to avoid this problem for their young teens.

Efforts to regulate social networking sites with child protection measures took a step forward this week when MySpace in agreement with 49 attorneys general, decided to establish a taskforce to better screen users and verify their ages and to respond more quickly to inappropriate content.

Profiles for users under the age of 16 will automatically be set to private so no one can log onto their account unless they are invited. And users will be able to block anyone over the age of 18 from contacting them.

But those measure do nothing to check child exploitation of other children. And it’s happening more frequently as what passes for fun combines with alcohol, digital cameras and the world wide web.

Last year a 16-year-old Rhode Island girl was arraigned before a family court judge on child pornography charges for posing nude on MySpace. Her 19-year-old female companion, who also posed nude, was charged criminally.

And an Australian teen is facing charges after he used MySpace to invite 500 of his closest friends to his parent’s house while they were gone. He was arrested and charged with public nuisance and child pornography. His parents are expected to reimburse police costs including the use of a helicopter totaling $20,000.

Based on a case in Tallahasee, Florida a court ruled that two teens at the age of 16 can have sex, but distributing the pictures, even just to another computer, constitutes child pornography.

Net Family News encourages parents to sign up for their own MySpace account to keep in touch with their child’s activities, and to remind teens that what they say online never goes away and may hurt them in the long run. 

One teenager was denied entry into a college because he made disparaging remarks about school on his blog.

MySpace is owned by Fox News Corp's Rupert Murdoch and has more than 200 million registered users, while competitor Facebook has more than 61 million users.  #

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