Last month I wrote the following comment about the lunacy of putting naive children on child pornography charges:
The same laws that seek to protect children are being severely undermined by a total lack of common sense.
Australia has a sexual offender registry which was designed to assist the government authorities to keep track of the residence and activities of sex offenders. You don’t have to be Einstein to realise that being on that list is detrimental to that person’s ability to get a job, loan, sense of freedom and quality of life.
The registry is a vital tool in dealing with pedophiles. That is why I was astounded to read that children caught ‘sexting’ photos of themselves or friends have been put on this very list.
Two days ago I spoke against the “Sneaky Hat” craze. “Sneaky Hat” refers to teenagers posting half-naked pictures of themselves with a hat covering their genitals. As much I find this fad quite unpleasant and potentially dangerous, I would be very disappointed if the teenage founders of this craze to face child pornography charges:
Police are investigating a Facebook craze that originated in Queensland encouraging teenagers to post pictures of themsleves nude on the internet.
The Queensland teenagers behind the new Facebook craze “Sneaky Hat” and contributors to the website could face child pornography charges, a cyber safety expert says.
The craze involves young people posting naked pictures of themselves with a hat covering their genitals and/or breasts, and has spawned similar social media pages, websites and Youtube videos.
The original page was started by 15-year-old students from Dalby, Queensland “for a laugh” but quickly attracted about 100 photos of their friends in the “Sneaky Hat” pose — and more than 10,000 followers.
“We just thought it was funny, but after a while it started like getting wild, out of control,” the Sneaky Hat website’s founder told ninemsn.
“There were all these people who were posting naked pictures and stuff.”
“My mum saw it, she knew and just thought it was funny.”
Police have now requested the images and Youtube videos created by the students.
Cyber safety expert Susan McLean, formerly of the Victoria Police cyber safety project, said the page was infamous around the world and that “any pedophile worth his salt” would be saving the pictures for their own purposes.
“I would question the brain matter of these parents,” McLean said. “That it is just for fun or between friends is the biggest load of crap I have ever heard.”
“This is a form of child pornography and they need to realise that the law applies to teenagers just as much as anyone else.
Well if that is the case, change the law! It is just plain senseless to ruin the life of silly immature teens by charging them with an offence intended for paedophiles. This isn’t just dumb. By bunching young, stupid teenagers with sick, evil paedophiles, we completely undermine the significance of being on the sex registry.