Can a selfie be considered child pornography?
A generation ago the word “selfie” did not exist. In fact, it did not become an established term in the English language until 2013 when the Oxford Dictionaries named it the Word of the Year. Today, however, many Louisiana residents both young and old have a penchant for taking selfies whenever they are able to access their smart phones.
To provide a general definition for the term, a selfie is a picture that a person takes of him or herself. Many smart phones are equipped with high resolution cameras that allow users to capture images of themselves doing fun and exciting things; though selfies are sometimes kept in private they are often shared on social media and shared with individuals’ friends and family members through texts and other messaging services.
Although many selfies are harmless, some may venture into potentially criminal conduct if their content is explicit. Particularly when the subjects of sexually explicit selfies are underage can individuals involved in the distribution and receipt of those images be charged with sex crimes such as child pornography. In some cases, minors can even face sex crime charges if they take and send sexually explicit images of themselves.
The speed at which the criminal laws are changing pales in comparison to the speed at which the internet and technology are developing. It is important for individuals charged with technology-based sex crimes like sexting or explicit selfie distributions to understand that they are entitled to advocate for themselves in court. The current state of laws may not be able to anticipate the intricacies of a new technology and individuals may have rights to combat their sex crime prosecutions if those charges are based on advances in technology that are not anticipated by the current laws.