What is 'sexting'?

Internet safety

Sexting involves creating, sending, receiving, or sharing sexual messages, images and/or videos using the Internet and/or electronic devices. Commonly these types of messages are intended only for the recipient. However, the sender has little control over these messages becoming public.

It is illegal to produce, possess or distribute naked or sexually explicit pictures and/or videos of young people under 18 years of age.

person on mobile phone

Why are young people sexting?

Today, young people are more connected, mobile, and social than at any other time. More youth have access to high-tech devices including smart phones, making the creation and sharing of photos and videos easy.

Youth are sexting for many reasons including: sexual expression, looking for attention from others including someone that they are interested in romantically, as part of a romantic relationship, peer pressure, or under coercive circumstances such as power imbalance in a relationship, threats, bullying, and extortion.

What are the consequences?

Sexting can have a number of short- and long-term impacts on a young person, some of which can be very negative. These negative impacts may be:

What happens online can have real consequences

Should a person use social media / the Internet in a negative way, depending on the image/video used and situation, several Criminal Code Offences could apply:

For more info or to get help

Young people:



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