Sending nude photos: Warning to children and young people
Child pornographic content is increasingly being distributed by those affected themselves. This is not only dangerous – but also punishable. The police’s #dontsendit campaign aims to provide information online.
The Federal Criminal Police Office is warning with the new campaign #dontsendit Children and young people from sending their own naked pictures via messenger services or social networks. The Federal Ministry of the Interior in Berlin said this could have, among other things, serious criminal consequences.
“This phenomenon plays a major role in the crime of child and youth pornography,” explained the ministry. More than 40 percent of the suspects in the 2022 police crime statistics were under 18 years old. “Don’t send it” means “Don’t send it”.
No schoolyard fun
“Sending nude photos is by no means schoolyard fun, but can have dire consequences,” explained Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD). Many children and young people are not aware of the dangers that come with it. “For years, the number of cases involving the distribution of child and youth pornography content by children and young people themselves has been increasing,” explained Faeser. “We have to stop this development through awareness and prevention.”
Experts warned that such recordings could be forwarded and published by other people, for example. In addition to your own family, friends, neighbors, teachers or future employers could find the pictures. “This can lead to bullying at school or work, slurs on social media, or other consequences.”
Distribution is punishable
If children under the age of 14 take nude pictures or videos of themselves, this constitutes child pornography, as the ministry explained. Anyone who produces, sends, receives, forwards or stores such recordings is committing a criminal offense. “This has been a crime since the summer of 2021.” Youth pornography photos of young people under the age of 18 and at least 14 years old can also have criminal consequences.
The German Association of Judges welcomed the campaign – and at the same time called on the federal government to correct the “excessive tightening of penalties against child pornography” as quickly as possible. “Cries for help are now increasing, for example from teachers and parents who come across cases of child pornography in class chats and want to report them with the best of intentions, but are thereby making themselves liable to prosecution,” said Federal Managing Director Sven Rebehn. In addition, many cases that were not worthy of prosecution ended up in the criminal courts.