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Motorola and the NFL Put Sexting Profits Above Principles

Jessica Logan, Sexting VictimNEW ORLEANS: Yesterday’s Super Bowl set a record for TV audiences, and also set a record for the most disgusting advertisement in NFL history. It’s hard to chronicle all of the offensive ads through the years, but certainly Motorola’s ad touting it’s new MOTOBLUR software has to be ranked the most offensive. While the commercial was not particularly graphic, it did have its share of innuendo and double entendre. What the NIP finds most offensive is that the commercial legitimizes the practice of sexting.

Sexting, the practice sending pornographic images of one’s self or other via text messaging or email, has been linked to all kinds of problems among youth in this country, even being linked to the suicide of one teenager. Back in 2007 cheerleader coach Victoria Schattauer in Goshen Ohio made history when she photographed herself with a student topless. The photo was sexted and emailed all over the school, and subsequently all over the country. The photos shocked the country because of their graphic nature involving a teacher and a student together, with the teacher taking the photo. Since then apparently lots of other coaches have followed suit, judging by a quick Google search of “coaches sexting.

Motorola’s commercial shows actress Megan Fox taking a picture of herself in the tub and sending it out. Besides frying the local telephone lines the explicit photo makes the rounds to a teenage boy locking himself in a bathroom, a voyeuristic husband getting slapped by his wife, a gay couple slapping each other, etc., all in good fun, apparently in the judgement of Motorola executives. The trouble is that teens don’t need any more incentive to engage in sexting. This commercial does not help teens understand just how severe the consequences can be:

News reports are increasingly documenting legal repercussions after indecent photo appear online. And attorneys say there are many unanswered questions about whether young people who send their own photos could face prosecution for obscenity or child pornography.

This year in Wisconsin, a 17-year-old was charged with possessing child pornography after he posted naked pictures of his 16-year-old ex-girlfriend online.

In Alabama, authorities arrested four middle-school students for exchanging nude photos of themselves. In Rochester, N.Y., a 16-year-old boy is now facing up to seven years in prison for forwarding a nude photo of a 15-year-old girlfriend to his friends.  ABC News.

Students don’t realize that they could be facing charges of trafficking in child pornography, as students in Greensburg, PA found out. The Texas Attorney General warns:

Attorney General Greg Abbott said teens can ask hotline operators about “sexting” — the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photos electronically, primarily between cell phones.

Sexting is often associated with teen dating violence.  Research shows teens are being pressured into taking pictures by a boyfriend or girlfriend who threatens they will leave or find someone who will.

Abbott also said sexting can be a crime.  Teens in possession of sexually suggestive images of classmates or companions under 18 can face up to 10 years in prison.

“Sexting implicates criminal issues.  It is a crime to possess child pornography images of teens sent by way of telephone.  By definition, sexting involves child pornography,” Abbott said.  KVUE News

In July of 2008 Jessica Logan in Cincinnati, Ohio hung herself just a month after graduation, the victim of harassment arising from sexting. The parents of the dead girl are now suing the Sycamore Board of Education for negligence.

Does this sound like the type of activity that should be used to market cell phones? Motorola, Megan Fox and the NFL have no excuse for airing this despicable commercial. Whatever happened to the charge, “contributing to the delinquency of a minor?” Apparently such concerns disappear when corporations put profits ahead of principles.

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  1. February 9th, 2010 at 02:04 | #1

    The issue of sexting is yet another social ill that celebrities can help legitimize in our country. Megan Fox is hardly a good role model to young girls and the ad makes it fun to tease people by sending naked pics over a phone; further justfying that if it feels good, do it. In the absence of parental controls – and we can thank PC, the government’s encroachment into child-rearing for this – young people model themselves in any way they can.

    It is unfortunate that their models couldn’t care less about their wellbeing.

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