Cell Phone Photography and Sexting

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Absinthe, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. Absinthe

    Absinthe Member

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    The whole Cyrus fiasco has brought this back to mind. Not that the two things are related really just one reminded me of the other.

    Group of teenager s in western PA were caught "sexting" and the girls were charged with MFG, Distr and possession of Child Pornography; and the boys were charged with possession of child pornography.

    They do not have a minimum jail sentense for this, but it is a sex crime and will cause them to be on the registry for about 10 years (if convicted)

    Having worked for a major sophistocate magazine at one time I thought I was pretty up on the law regarding Kiddi Porn especially since one of the models that the mag I worked for was retroactively determined to be underage and such. However, I thougt to be KP the image needed to depict an "act" and simple nudity alone did not constitute such.

    As well, who is the victum here? and who is getting the harsher punishment...

    Not sayign I think it was right or a good idea, but when I think of sexual preditors , little girls dont' come to mind... maybe John Stossal can do a sting for them :smile:
     
  2. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    It would seem a bit harsh. Perhaps they need a special offense category called "Stupid Teenager Acts" punishable by community service like highway shoulder trash pick-up in bright orange coveralls.. with parents next to them.:smile:
     
  3. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    What is 'sexting'?
     
  4. Aurum

    Aurum Member

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    Using a cellphone MMS service to send pictures of your "Bits" to other people.

    Considered to be acceptable if both you and the person receiving it are over 21 and drunk. Not considered acceptable for teenagers, sober or not
     
  5. phaedrus

    phaedrus Member

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    Lascivious cellphone texting?
    Anyway, the brouhaha about this is so typical american (US). It should be a matter for their parents to be concerned about, not law enforcement.
     
  6. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    This is a great argument for allowing Judges to do their jobs unhampered by "mandatory sentencing" statutes.
     
  7. OP
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    Absinthe

    Absinthe Member

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    Hmm, without starting a flame war on the idea, I am just curious, how would this actually be different in Germany? Is this an issue of topless beaches are ok so nudity is fine? Or is it simply like my Britt friend says "Tits and arses but no fannies"

    Though, I reiterate, that I don't believe "nude and semi-nude photographs" satisfy the definition of child pornography by virtue only of age. I haven't seen these images, nor read any other description besides "nude and semi-nude." Granted, I accept that they could in fact be "Brazilian wax inspection shots" in which case I guess they would in fact satisfy the definition, but I am having a difficult time imagining that to be the case. I am figuring boobies and moonies, to which I have to wave a hand and say "so what" to some extent, maintaining the argument that it doesn't satisfy the definition.

    Other than the immediacy of availability to everyone on the internet from the cell phone, how is this different from people shooting Polaroids or b&w developed at home. Or as someone suggested the other day, how is it different from "playing doctor?"
     
  8. DJGainer

    DJGainer Member

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    I think in this instance it was not the least bit about art. Children are a protected class and child pornography (just like statutory rape) is a strict liability crime. The law is so unforgiving because it aims to stop the dissemination of nude pictures of minors.
     
  9. Cheryl Jacobs

    Cheryl Jacobs Member

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    If these kids are photographing THEMSELVES and distributing it THEMSELVES, I fail to see how child porn laws should apply.
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Teenagers playing show-and-tell hardly seems like a new phenomenon.
     
  11. Cheryl Jacobs

    Cheryl Jacobs Member

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    Next they'll be arresting kids for flashing each other at band camp. LOL.
     
  12. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    This is so stupid. next we'll have a law restricting children from playing doctor. Teenagers and pre teens need to explore. It is how they learn about themselves, sexuality, and where the limits are. Some may not remember, but most kids listen to their parents, maybe the law, and then go out and find out for themselves and most wind up OK and better for the experience. This is an American thing. In most countries it isn't unusual to see everything but genitalia on the TV or hear most every expletive. This includes child nudity. I saw a great advert in Europe that featured a peeing 7-10 year old boy -- I can't remember what they were selling as my brain was about to explode and I saw the apocalypse hurtling toward me. <sigh>

    Sorry about the rant, but some of our laws cause far more damage than the 'offense' they are protecting us from.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2009
  13. OP
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    Absinthe

    Absinthe Member

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    So children are not capable or expressing themselves artistically if it involves nudity?

    Here is a copy of the definitions. How does it apply?

    http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00002256----000-.html
     
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    Absinthe

    Absinthe Member

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    Only if they take a photograph of it..
     
  16. naeroscatu

    naeroscatu Subscriber

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    Not sure I understand what the problem is here; I don't seam to have enough info from what is posted. What is MFG? -I'm abbreviation impaired-:tongue:
    If teenagers have been caught exchanging indecent pictures among themselves, why is that a problem of the law enforcement? As someone said how it is different than playing doctor. If adults were involved then everything changes. Perhaps more details or a link would help.
     
  17. OP
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    Absinthe

    Absinthe Member

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    MFG = manufacture

    What happened was that one of the boys involved, got his phone snagged by a teacher for some unrelated school phone policy infraction. The teacher discovered the images and I guess, informed the boys in blue.

    Here is the story http://www.associatedcontent.com/ar...ns_charged_with_child_pornography.html?cat=15

    and here is another version http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,479803,00.html

    Interesting, their names are not being given out, but if they are convicted and placed on the sex offenders registry, all their information will be published just like all these bad guys:

    http://familywatchdog.us/
     
  18. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    One more consequence will be that people who now take the sex offender list seriously will see them as polluted with people who really shouldn't be on there. So the lists will lose effectiveness, further weakening the protection for children. (Not that I really think those lists work, or are a great idea, but this will not help.)
     
  19. S.F. Sorrow

    S.F. Sorrow Member

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    Great, the USA once again shows its tendency of puritanical legal ideals.
    I'm having a hard time seeing what the 'big uproar' is about. Maybe I'm young enough to remember that I was anything but 'pure of mind' at age 15 and given the prevalence of lewd sexuality and gestures within the media today, who really is shocked that kids will be kids at camp? Now that they have access to such technology as to allow them the ability to take and transmit photos of themselves among themselves, kids will do just that. Are they now trying to tell us all that being young and carefree is now a punishable offense?!
    I can not see how that could honestly be labeled as kiddy porn by any sane person.
     
  20. OP
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    Absinthe

    Absinthe Member

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    Was the list effective in the first place? Wasn't it just a way to doubly punish someone? Quite honestly I think real sex offenders are the bottom of the criminal barrel. However, if we have a law that says the term of punishment is "X" then after "X" shouldn't they be allowed to live their lives?

    The problem comes from a terribly high recidivism rate. So the point is maybe if someone can't be rehabilitated, then perhaps the death penalty is in order, or LIPWOCFP.
     
  21. Cheryl Jacobs

    Cheryl Jacobs Member

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    Just as a point of interest, if these kids were actually having sex with each other instead of sending photos, there would be no legal action at all. Pretty funny. They are all minors and would likely get a talking to, but that's it.

    I also find it interesting that these kids are being charged as adults for distributing nude photos of minors. So which is it? They are either adults, or they are children. Seems to me the state is trying to have their cake and it it too.
     
  22. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It also creates another criminal class that shouldn't be -- How many recreational pot smokers are sharing cells real criminals and whose lives have been ruined for doing something that is healthier than cigarettes and safer to the general public than beer consumption?
     
  23. OP
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    Absinthe

    Absinthe Member

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    Well maybe. In PA where it happened the age of consent is 16. So I guess you are right if the boys were not more than 4 years older than them, I think the ages they gave were the girls as 14,15 and the boys as 16,17. However, if a camera were involved that would definitely constitute KP.

    But "nude minors" is not a crime is it? The names are not coming to me now, but I am sure there are several photographers that shoot nude minors. There is an image on a wooden porch and a very light haired girl completely nude ... I know I have seen it, probably posted here somewhere, and if I heard the photog's name, I would remember it. How many completely nude infants have we seen over the years? That is almost a required shot.
     
  24. OP
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    Absinthe

    Absinthe Member

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    Jock Sturges that's the guy's name... I don't think any of his stuff is KP is it? A few others come to mind as well, Sally Mann to name one, and I am sure there are others...
     
  25. DJGainer

    DJGainer Member

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    Apparently you are not capable of relating the final sentence in a response to the first. Children are capable of being the subject of a nude artistic photography. Here, that was not the intent.

    And you are quoting from the United States Code. This case is being handled under PA state law, so the definitions may differ.
     
  26. OP
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    Absinthe

    Absinthe Member

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    True enough that PA law may differ from Federal statutes.

    Although, I am not certain that you can say for sure that "art" was not the intent. Why can't it be artistic expression, just because it is a snapshot? Who is to say that the girls didn't take the time to make sure their lighting was flattering, and the pose was well balanced, with a good base and proper curves and angles? Perhaps I am playing devil's advocate in this somewhat, but really who is to decide what is and isn't art? Is Maplethorpe's "Piss Jesus" art? Or is it not art because some people are offended by it, or don't like it? Many people would deny that Jackson Pollack was just making a mess... Is it not art because it is being used as a flirtation tool? How is it different from going to "Glamor Shots" and having a cheeky picture done for your lover. Just they are doing it on a teenage budget...

    As I said before, it is totally possible that these images are obscene and without any socially redeeming value and they may in fact depict acts or simulation of acts or focus lasciviously on the areas that make them child pornography. Even if that, in fact, is the case that doesn't stop it from being "art" in the intent of the creator. Does it?

    I think we may be looking at some legal definitions and trying to make sense of them. However, things are more appropriate at some ages. I remember being a tween and listening to "Christine 16" or a teen and listing to "My Sharona" and relating to them in one way. Now when I hear them, realizing the artist/singer at the time were singing about girls much younger than themselves they sound a bit "pedo."

    When I was 15, I thought 15 year old girls were pretty sexy, and actually, much older women like 20 and 30 were "old looking". Now that I am <mumble-mumble-mumble> years old, I still find women very near my age to be sexy and attractive, and 15 year old girls, though they can be attractive, beautiful and all those other positive adjectives, I do not find myself feeling any sexual attraction to them. I also look at much older women and find them to have all kinds of beauty, but at this point don't feel any sexual attraction, that I assume when I our ages are closer to the same I will. Seems the nature of things.

    So if 15 year olds want to see each other naked, even for the purpose of sexual excitement, that in a way seems natural. And in that, at least between the artist and the intended audience... I would still consider it artistic expression. But that is just me...