Think Before You @Tweet

think-before-you-post

Hi all, sorry for the long absence. With senior year ominously pressing down on my shoulders and my social life booked, I haven’t found time to write anything substantial on here. With that said, though, I’ve got something good for ya now.

I live in a small town nestled within the mountains of North Carolina. This small town is placed in a small county and this said county has two main high schools. Being from the south, football is basically a religion (practiced every Friday night and Sunday after church) so when these two schools butt heads at the annual Pisgah v. Tuscola Game, sparks fly. Nearly ten thousand spectators come out to watch this football game, and only standing room is left by kick-off. Competition is high and the entire week leading up to the game is filled with many different spirit days at the separate schools. This is meant for fun, but it can be taken very seriously by certain people. Friendships are void, trust is tested, and feelings are crushed.

But today, something happened that threw me off my damn rocker.

Sophia Ferrara, a Junior at Pisgah High School, devoted cheerleader, and proud Pisgah Bear, found herself victim to cyberbullying when a Senior at Tuscola High School tweeted this:

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Followed by this:

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Here were some of my initial reactions when seeing these tweets:

1. They have absolutely NOTHING to do with the rivalry football game.

2. These posts, instead, work as a personal attack on Sophia.

3. The act of posting these pictures is potentially illegal.

While there are no laws prohibiting the posting of nude pictures without consent, this action is definitely a violation of one’s rights and can, in turn, be deemed illegal. Invasion of privacy is one of the few things not protected in our Bill of Rights, but courts have decided in rulings some of the rights and wrongs associated with privacy. The actual definition of invasion of privacy is:

“The intrusion into the personal life of another, without just cause, which can give the person whose privacy has been invaded a right to bring a lawsuit for damages against the person or entity that intruded.”

Invasion of privacy covers four specific areas which includes the following:

A “. . .non-public individual has the right to privacy from public disclosure of embarrassing private information.”

Therefore, posting “embarrassing” pictures of someone online without their consent is a violation of their privacy and can result in punishment for the perpetrator.

Child pornography is also an issue here. Given the blatant fact that Sophia is a minor, we can only begin to question the age of the high school Senior talking about posting explicit pictures. There is a chance that this guy is eighteen (since most teens turn eighteen their last year in high school) and, if he were, the distribution of any picture of a minor could place him in prison for fifteen to thirty years. With that said, if any of his friends have pictures or choose to post pictures, they could also be charged with possession or distribution of child pornography.

A first time offender in this case would find themselves in prison for a minimum of fifteen years.

Regardless of this student’s age or intentions, his tweet is morally unacceptable. Living in a religion-influenced area, I’m shocked to see that his tweet received as many likes as it did. The idea that someone would consider posting inappropriate pictures of a teenage girl is beyond me. Anyone who chooses to send suggestive pictures to another person is placing all of their trust in the person receiving the photo. If this person were to violate that trust in any way (by posting those pictures online or showing them to their friends) they would not only be extremely immature, but a genuine a-hole and potential attention-seeking narcissist.

No girl sends “pictures” to a guy with hopes that he will post it online for everyone to see.

I know it seems like I’m attacking the guy who tweeted these things, but I’m only trying to show the severity of his actions, actions that are made every day by people online.

His tweet is interpreted as a joke and he even said, “I thought I’d be a little nice and not actually put them up. . .”; however, this is no matter to be joking about.

Women and men alike are shamed daily when embarrassing or revealing pictures of them are put online for the world to see. Lawsuits do happen and people are punished. Many teenagers–including myself–don’t realize the importance of thinking twice before posting something on the internet.

Not only is this tweet cruel and unnecessary, but it violates the privacy of another and can be seen by anyone and everyone. He may have not posted actual “pictures” of Sophia, but this tweet is enough to create a problem.

Image courtesy of: smperformance.wordpress.com

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