Many parents and grandparents are using social media to post pictures of their children and grandchildren. Unfortunately, photos of your loved ones may be flagged by social networks as child pornography. Even worse, the innocent images that you post on the internet or save to your devices could lead to criminal charges.
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social networks are cracking down on all forms of illegal content. This crackdown has led to social media companies working more closely with law enforcement1 and more criminal charges. People who have been charged or believe they will be charged with a crime related to child pornography on social media should know the common misunderstandings that can lead to these charges and how they can defend themselves.
Common Misunderstandings Involving Child Pornography and Social Media
Criminal charges can arise if you are accused of viewing, creating, buying, selling, hosting or distributing images or video involving child sexual activity. Federal agents are often involved in child pornography cases involving the internet2 which can lead to more severe federal criminal charges.
These are a few of the common situations that may lead to criminal charges:
- Posting nude or semi-nude pictures of your children: Pictures of children in the bathtub has been a standby in family photo albums for decades. These semi-nude or nude pictures can set off alarm bells for social media content moderators, which may lead to federal agents charging you with a crime.
- Teens sharing sexual photos: As we have covered in the past, some teens share explicit images of themselves with one another through social media. Sending these photos could lead to serious criminal charges for both the sender and receiver of these photos, along with lifelong registration as a sex offender.
- Unintentionally viewing illegal sexual content: Clicking a link on social media sites could have criminal consequences. Unscrupulous posters may link to images or videos of child pornography that you did not intend to see. These links could also lead to viruses that may cause your device to act as a host for illegal content.
How can you defend yourself if you are charged with a crime?
Because of the potentially lifelong consequences of a conviction for child pornography, you should contact a criminal defense attorney in Delaware as soon as possible. An attorney can do an in-depth analysis of your social media account and devices to determine the origin of the illegal content. Your defense lawyer can also protect your rights from overzealous law enforcement agents who are taking innocent material out of context. Our office has been on the cutting edge of digital crimes since its inception. Our attorneys have acquired knowledge through prior case experience, training, and the use of file sharing services that form a foundation of knowledge of how the online world works.