Sexting is defined as taking or transmitting explicit images by email or on mobile devices. The consensus is that it is increasingly prevalent and that young people are generally unaware of the repercussions.
To explore this fascinating topic Swinburne University journalism students have joined forces with Crikey.com to report on the Victorian Parliament's Inquiry into sexting.
The students have each researched a submission to the inquiry and interviewed key players before writing a news story on the topic.
The results, which are being published by Crikey as The Sext Files, make for compelling reading.
"We were surprised by the breadth and depth of the push for reform of the law," convenor of journalism at Swinburne Dr Andrew Dodd said.
"There are submissions from police officers, judges, social workers and young people that express alarm because the current laws criminalise behaviour by young people."
The reports weigh up the dilemmas posed by sexting. On the one hand vulnerable people need protection against instantaneous and highly destructive exposure. On the other, young people's lives shouldn't be destroyed by branding innocent behaviour as criminal.
Many of the submissions decry the way young people are added to the Sex Offenders' Register for many years for sometimes harmless cases of flirtatious bahaviour.
The Sext Files will appear in Crikey over the next couple of weeks.
Provided by Swinburne University of Technology
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