(DeSoto County, MS) Parents, listen up, Mississippi's attorney general has a warning for you.
Jim Hood says talk to your children, or they could end up on Instagram in a way you would never want to see them.
The AG’s Office says sexting is getting out of hand and setting up teens to be targets.
Some teens may think it’s exciting to send a sexually explicit picture to their boyfriend, but those pictures often end up in the wrong hands, and more often than ever on Instagram.
The app most known for snapshots and filters is now at the center of attention of a cyber-crime's unit in Mississippi.
The attorney general warns that more and more teenagers are using the app to expose their rivals in the most unpleasant ways.
“If you have some girl that's mad at you and is posting explicit photographs of you pretending to be you, that can be very, very damaging because basically that's a loss of innocence,” said John Champion, the DeSoto County District Attorney.
Desoto County's district attorney is also well aware of the fast growing problem: teens sexting, sending out sexually explicit pictures that end up on Instagram.
“They are setting-up the account, they’re pretending to be the victim and they are posting photographs of the victim and they are being sent out as if they're coming from the victim.”
Naked pictures of your teen daughter online under an account under their own name. Not something any parent wants to think about.
The AG’s Office says the problem is getting so bad, Hood felt compelled to release a warning to parents.
“Talk to your children about this, making sure they understand that taking these types of photographs are wrong,” said Champion.
For the parents of bullies, who may be posting these pics to humiliate someone else, the AG’s Office says that is a sex crime.
“It could potentially fall under our exploitation statute,” said Champion. “Exploitation could carry 20 to 30 years.”
With the help of the AG’s cyber-crime unit, law enforcement all over Mississippi has the technology now to track you down.
The Attorney General’s Office says if you become a victim of this type of bullying, save the photos and postings to help authorities in their investigation.
Also, report any bullying to your local law enforcement and let your school know what's going on.