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Pictures on Instagram Rise to Level of Child Pornography

Feb 21, 2014 | Sex Offenses |

Instagram is a social media outlet that allows its users to share photos of their personal lives to the world. A tech website recently published that Instagram is growing the fastest of all social media sites worldwide, increasing its active user base by 23% in the last six months. This popular social media site has recently led to a horrifying discovery for two young girls from North Carolina. The parents of these girls were recently notified that their daughter’s nude photos were posted on the social media site.

The Durham County Sheriff’s Office is now investigating two reports of nude photos circulating on Instagram. Those pictures include ones of a 17-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl from Sherwood Githens Middle School. These investigations started when a mother reported someone had uploaded naked pictures of her daughter at 14 or 15 years old.

Police are now searching for the individuals who own the accounts with the underage photos. Once these individuals are found, they could face charges with harsh consequences. The charges could be a felony and individuals over the age of 16 could be charged as an adult. The reason for these harsh consequences is that the girls involved in the pictures are most likely all under the age of 18, and are considered a minor.

Child pornography is any visual depiction, such as photographs, videos, digital or computer generated images, of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor. Even if a young girl looks like she is over 18, but is identified as younger, she is still considered a minor. The individuals involved with disseminating these photos could face these charges because dissemination of child pornography is illegal. Children don’t understand that just because you didn’t take the photograph or sell the photograph doesn’t mean you can’t get in trouble for simply redistributing it.

Right now investigators and law enforcement are working with the school system to investigate criminally inappropriate use of photographs involving their students. The students have been asked to report any information they have about Instagram accounts posting nude photos of high school and middle school students.

Sources:

ABC Local, SBI investigating nude pictures of students shared via Instagram, 2/20/14

Instagram is Fastest Growing Social Media Site , Ingrid Lunden, 1/21/14

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