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If you have an adolescent, chances are, they belong to one of the numerous social media platforms. While today’s technology allows us to instantly share our thoughts, experiences, feelings, moods, and activities, not all sharing is healthy or appropriate. In fact, certain activity on social media can be punishable by law and be considered harassment.
While an adolescent may not understand the ramifications of posting a comment, activity, or picture on social media, it’s important for parents to inform the child of the consequences that might occur as a result of what’s being posted. What might seem like a harmless, innocent, or “funny” post can, in fact, be illegal and costly.
In a CNN article, When Posting Online Can Get You Arrested, author Lauren Russell shares several examples of social media postings that resulted in legal action against the poster.
Any illegal behavior on the part of a minor that is captured on social media can be used by police to prosecute. If your adolescent is posting underage drinking, hazing, harassment, lewd or lascivious behavior, or more, he or she can find himself or herself arrested, charged, fined, and with a record.
Posting any comments that appear to harass, intimidate, demoralize, or bully another person can also be used against your child.
But the Postings Have Been Taken Down
A common misconception by teens is that their posts have been taken down and thus, they no longer exist. In reality, posts can be screen shot or shared in such a manner as to keep the post alive and available to prosecute.
Adolescents should also be aware that the government can subpoena any deleted content, dismissing the incorrect belief that social media posts “disappear.”
For more information and a thoughtful analysis of whether or not your child should have a social media account, consider reading this article in Parent’s Magazine, Should Your Child Have a Social Media Account?
Disclaimer: The tips and materials provided in this email are for informational purposes only, offered as public service. No information in this email should be considered legal advice or used as a substitute for legal advice. For legal advice, you should contact an attorney directly.