Queensland police are blaming the current craze of posting ‘selfies’ on the internet for a tragic rise in youth suicide.
They’ve launched a campaign to encourage young people to ‘keep the images to themselves”
When political leaders and celebrities are embracing the craze, it’s difficult to discourage young people. But Detectives warn images captured in an instant .. are having tragic consequences.
“If you take a selfie, which is possibly a provocative picture of themselves, keep it to yourself,” Detective Senior Constable Chris Creedon from Taskforce Argos says.
In October last year 15-year-old Canadian Amanda Todd put a video on Youtube, then took her own life. She’d been humiliated, harassed and bullied after posting a semi naked photo.
“Once you’ve uploaded that image to the internet, you have lost control of that image,” Detective Creedon says
“For children they could call a helpline, they could ring the police, but I think for me the first step would be (to call) an adult or guardian.
Once control of an image has been surrendered, it can lead to what’s now termed ‘sexploitation or sextortion’, according to Detective Creedon.
“Yeah, I must be honest, yeah, I am a parent’s worst nightmare,” a convicted pedophile says of his wicked ways.
There are things parents can do – restrictions can be placed on the apps children can access on their phones, but police say the most important thing is to talk to young people about the possible dangers.
“It is difficult but we have to be firm because these predators are out there,” Police Minister Jack Dempsey warns.
For more information head to the Queensland Police website.