City police are warning young people in the community of the dangers of posting compromising pictures of themselves online.
After receiving some complaints to their Nelson Police Department office, including one last week, officers want to make sure the public is aware of the issue.
“Anyone under the age of 18 displayed as engaged in or depicted as engaged in an explicit sexual activity could be considered child pornography,” said Sgt. Dino Falcone of the NPD. “Kids out there might think it’s an innocent act but it’s actually a charge under the criminal code.”
That charge doesn’t necessarily apply to the person posting the photo but police advise that images sent via electronic means aren’t easily deleted. Once a person sends images the sender loses control of how those images are distributed.
Falcone pointed to the incident involving Amanda Todd. The Grade 10 Port Coquitlam girl killed herself after being cyber bullied over topless photos of her circled on the Internet.
“Stuff like that can happen anywhere,” he said. “This is not only something that can hurt a person or perhaps cause a person to commit suicide, there are charges attached to that.”
Sgt. Brian Weber said publication of these images could cause considerable problems, embarrassment and stress.
“What seems like a good idea today may cause regret tomorrow,” he said.
Last week’s incident involving a compromising photo is under investigation by the NPD.