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Child pornography? Not so, say the police in Maryland

What is child pornography, and when is it simply pornography? There is a slim line between child porn and what the law considers legal pornography, and according to this April 10 report, that line is pushed when students upload nude photos to their social media accounts. The Maryland report that police in two Maryland counties have been flooded with child pornography complaints, but the fact of the matter is that the students are putting their own photos on social media sites.

Police reported that there is, of course, a fine line between what you'd consider pornography versus child pornography. Police believe that posting those photos is dangerous, even if a crime isn't or hasn't taken place. Because people as young as middle schoolers are putting nude or revealing photos online, it's important that parents discuss the dangers of doing so. One woman has reported that she made sure her teen knew the dangers, because once that image is online, it's there forever.

Police report that the problem is widespread, and it's leading to more and more reports of child pornography around the state. Police have reported that nude "selfies" as teens call them, are not child pornography by nature. It's only a problem if the pictures start to go viral. It becomes a crime when the image is being distributed, and it is a crime if the individual is under 18 and has had someone over 18 take the photo.

In the case of a few photos from Milford Mill Academy, the subjects turned out to be over 18. Despite this, police are still asking that anyone who suspects an image is child pornography to report it. They do believe the world is changing, and because of that, it's important for parents to monitor social media.

Source: CBS Baltimore, "High School Students Posting Nude Photos On Social Media Accounts" Monique Griego, Apr. 10, 2014

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