In a cultural context where Congressman Anthony Weiner foolishly published salacious content on Twitter, it’s hard to ignore sexting as a cultural phenomenon. Countless adults send sexually explicit content to one another, either as acts of flirtation or more explicit sex acts. And yet, when teenagers do so, new issues emerge. Teen sexting gets complicated, especially when images or videos are involved, because it butts up against child pornography laws. Unfortunately, teens have been arrested on child pornography charges for taking or sharing images of themselves or their peers.
Teen sexting isn’t just an issue for parents, teens, and the law; it’s also a challenge for the tech industry. Because technology companies are required by law to work diligently to combat child pornography, sexting creates new challenges for them. In this talk for the Read Write Web 2WAY conference, I outline some of the challenges that the tech industry faces with respect to teen sexting. I also invite those in the tech industry to engage about this issue, either out of goodwill, monetary interest, or fear of legal liability.