Increasingly, we live in a society where people communicate with each other and send out information via social media. Despite the obvious conveniences, there are certain dangers, and in some situations, sending out information in this way could lead to criminal charges.
A very common activity among teens is taking various types of sexually explicit photos and sending them by text, or snap chat, or posting them on Facebook, etc. Often the teens are willingly participating in these activities; sometimes these types of photos are taken without the knowledge or consent of the person in the photo.
In Canadian criminal law, any person under the age of 18 cannot legally consent to this type of activity – what this means is, taking these types of pictures falls within the offence of ‘making child pornography’. Sending these photos by text, snap chat, Facebook, etc. falls within the offence of ‘distributing child pornography’. Once these types of photos and videos are ‘out there’, there is no way of controlling how far they will go, or into whose hands they will fall. There have been numerous news stories in the past few years about ‘cyber bullying’ and the sometimes deadly consequences for those who fall victim to this type of bullying. These types of offences are increasingly being treated very seriously by the Courts and could lead to very serious criminal consequences.