A scenario: a child is raped or molested. You find out and you are (rightfully) absolutely enraged about it. You take/find a picture or video of the incident and upload it online with the hashtags, #thismuststop #deathtochildpredators or something to that effect.
Bad news for you, you just engaged in child pornography!
Child pornography has unwittingly become accepted in today’s ‘upload’ obsessed society. Three days ago, a video depicting a young girl and an elderly man in a sexual act went viral. According to adweek, a video or post has to be viewed and shared at least 5 million times in 3-7 days for it be viral! I mean, it is bad enough that children are raped by caretakers, step-fathers, uncles and aunts and that our traditional society does little or nothing to thoroughly address this grievous issue but uploading a picture of a child naked or being molested crosses a serious moral line. It is abhorrent, shameful and disrespectful.
Child pornography is considered to be any depiction of a child who is engaged in a sexual or sex related conduct. This includes pictures, videos, and computer-generated content. Even altering an image or video so that it appears to be a minor can be considered child pornography. One important exception to the category of illegal child pornography is artistic renderings or depictions that have serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. For instance, an anatomy book explaining the anatomy of a child would be exempt from a child pornography categorization. Meeting this exemption is difficult, and individuals should generally assume that sexual depictions of children are illegal and punishable under both state and federal laws.
To be charged with a crime related to child pornography, an individual must knowingly possess, distribute, or receive child pornography.
Do not be thrown off by the ‘knowingly’ in the above statement; posting a picture or video of a naked or half naked child, whatever your noble intentions, is very wrong… and illegal!
Before you post anything of that sort think about the consequences. First of all, think of the child involved in that act. That child is completely clueless and has no idea what is happening. Every time you upload, repost or share a picture of a sexual crime being committed against a child, you are re-victimizing that child. Put yourself in the child’s position and think of the long term damage that upload is going to inflict. Remember, the internet never forgets. That child will grow up to find a random sexual video on the internet from his/her past. The negative effects of that cannot be over-exaggerated.
Also, not everybody is emotionally capable of viewing such grotesque content. You may trigger a lot of negative emotions with a simple post. You may also fuel the minds of existing pedophiles without knowing what you have done. If you are passionate about speaking up against sexual abuse against children, there are so many other ways you can warn people and campaign against it without actually distributing the sexual content. For instance, you can send broadcast messages with real stories or even organize awareness seminars, anything but visuals.
Members of society are mandated to protect every child, whether you know them or not. We must all take a more active stand against anything that victimizes and hurts our children.