Blown To Bits

Liability for Your Children’s Sexting?

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 by Harry Lewis

Some teenagers are being charged under child pornography laws — extremely serious charges — because they passed around a cell-phone nude photo of another teenager. (Quite the rage, apparently.) What if Mom and Dad bought the perpetrator the phone? Are they in trouble too?

No one can say for sure, of course, but in civil court you can sue for anything and see if any money shakes out. Here’s an interesting discussion of the possibilities.

As an academic exercise this is a wonderful example of the dilemmas that come from giving everyone a free printing press, capable of producing a million copies at no cost. And, of course, the weird fluctuations in the meaning of “privacy” in the digital age. Parents need to talk to their children about cell phones — but that is not easy if they can’t talk to their kids about anything else!

Comments are closed.