New Berkman Report on Sexting

Berkman's latest — Sexting: Youth Practices and Legal Implications,

This document addresses legal and practical issues related to the practice colloquially known as sexting. It was created by Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, based at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, for the Berkman Center’s Youth and Media Policy Working Group Initiative. The Initiative is exploring policy issues that fall within three substantive clusters emerging from youth’s information and communications technology practices: Risky Behaviors and Online Safety; Privacy, Publicity and Reputation;and Youth Created Content and Information Quality. The Initiative is funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and is co‐directed by danah boyd, Urs Gasser, and John Palfrey. This document was created for the Risky Behaviors and Online Safety cluster, which is focused on four core issues: (1) sexual solicitation and problematic sexual encounters; (2) internet‐related bullying and harassment; (3) access to problematic content, including pornography and self‐harm content; and (4) youth‐generated problematic content, including sexting. The Initiative’s goal is to bring the best research on youth and media into the policy‐making debate and to propose practical interventions based upon that research.

This document is intended to provide background for the discussion of interventions related to sexting. It begins with a definition of sexting, and continues with overviews of research and media stories related to sexting. It then discusses the statutory and constitutional framework for child pornography and obscenity. It concludes with a description of current and pending legislation meant to address sexting.

(via Bartow)

Haven't read it yet, but I'm betting it's sensible.

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4 Responses to New Berkman Report on Sexting

  1. Just me says:

    How is “sexting” different from the long held tradition of passing dirty notes and/or sending lurid love letters? What all of a sudden makes it such a problem that we have to have big fancy studies and reports on it?

    Also, as someone who was at times physically bullied in my youth, the concept of

  2. michael says:

    The major way in which “sexting” is different from the traditional lurid love letter is that the cell phone photo may fit the legal definition of “child pornography”. Thus the real sexting “problem” is that the law OVER-reacts, and makes criminals of sender and receiver (especially the sender, which seems very unfair when receiver then passes the photo around). By “sensible” I’m guessing Berkman, like me, thinks that this shouldn’t be criminalized, or at least the original sender is less to blame then the receiver who shares the pix of girlfriend with ten of his buds, one of whom then posts it online.

    So, you may be surprised to learn, we basically agree on this one.

    The mountain was made by prosecutors in several states. We take the world as we find it.

  3. Just me says:

    Thanks for the explanation.

  4. michael says:

    Incidentally, for anyone thinking of voting for Charlie Crist, back when he as the Florida Attorney General he happily argued an appeal in one of the earliest sexting cases, arguing for further victimizing the victim whose boyfriend shared her picture around.

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