Sexting: a risky practice among young people!

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The smartphone among adolescents and young adults is an extremely strong means of communication and facilitates sentimental interactions.

Millennials use SMS, Snapchat, Instagram and other social networks and instant messaging to exchange sexual snapshots and thus titillate the recipient’s libido.

Although the practice is increasingly widespread, it is not without risk and can lead to the dissemination of these images without consent. With the striking power of the Internet and the speed with which content spreads, the consequences can be serious and dramatic for the victim.

The exchange of content with a sexual connotation

Sexting, from the Anglo-Saxon contraction “sex” and “texting”, also called “sexto” in France. It refers, according to the definition of Justine Bastin, clinical psychologist and author of a thesis on this subject, at ” sending text messages, photos or videos of a sexually explicit and suggestive nature sent or received through new technologies “.

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The risks associated with sexting

Once the image is broadcast on the web… it spirals out of control!

The sharing of intimate content between two people, engaged in a serious relationship, is not new. In contrast, the digital age is accelerating the rate at which these snaps are shared across various platforms and making them accessible to hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Deleting a photo directly after its publication is no longer enough, since it could, in the meantime, be copied and published hundreds of times on other sites.

No longer in the possession of the person concerned, the images can be distributed on social networks, instant messaging and lead to a form of cyberbullying, often associated with revenge porn.

A sext can be transferred and shared for many reasons: to make it interesting, out of jealousy, out of revenge… but also in a thoughtless way, by a person without bad intentions.

Whatever the reason, the consequences are usually heavy…

Revenge porn

The practice of revenge porn consists of taking revenge on a person by making public content of a sexual nature in order to humiliate him. These pictures may have been taken with the consent of the victim but without his agreement for their dissemination.

Generally, it is a violent reaction following a badly experienced separation, betrayal or jealousy.

The person seeking to harm the reputation of the victim makes public intimate elements concerning him and distributes them to a large number of people via the Internet. These individuals will then play a relay role in the transmission of these images/videos. The phenomenon will grow rapidly. A wave of violence then falls on the victim, who develops a feeling of exclusion, of shame but also of guilt since she is the source of the clichés broadcast. It is important to keep in mind that this act is prohibited and obviously punishable by law. Your image belongs to you and no one has the right to harm it even if you sent the photo of your own free will.

What penalties?

The dissemination of a naked image or video of a person without their consent is prohibited and constitutes an infringement of the regulations on privacy and the right to the image of the person.

Thus, Revenge Porn is governed by article 67 of the law of March 7, 2016 for a digital Republic (known as the Lemaire Law). Article 226-2-1 of the Penal Code “When the offenses provided for in articles 226-1 and 226-2 relate to words or images of a sexual nature taken in a public or private place, the penalties are increased to two years. imprisonment and a €60,000 fine. The same penalties apply to the fact, in the absence of the person’s agreement for dissemination, of bringing to the attention of the public or a third party any recording or document relating to words or images of a sexual nature. , obtained, with the express or presumed consent of the person or by himself, using one of the acts provided for in Article 226-1. »

Irrespective of whether the person has given consent to the taking of these pictures or not, dissemination without consent is sufficient to be punishable by law.

What to do if you are a victim?

Ask the recipient to delete the images of you

Did you send a photo of yourself that you regret? Ask the recipient to delete it. You have the right, it’s about your image and your privacy.

Does the person refuse?

You can then send him article 67 of the law of March 7, 2016 for a digital Republic (known as the Lemaire Law) which supplemented the penal code with article 226-2-1 which reinforces the penal sanctions in the event of Revenge Porn . The penalties are increased to two years’ imprisonment and a fine of €60,000.

Something to make her think a little…

Do not wait before reacting and talk to someone you trust.

The faster you react, the faster you will regain control of the situation. Ask someone you trust for help. You can also contact the NET ECOUTE service on 0800 200 000, which will guide you through the steps to take.

List the platforms and sites where your photo appears

Use the different search engines by typing your name or your nickname to find photos of you on the net. You can also use “Google Alerts” which will send you a notification when your name appears somewhere.

Also take screenshots to keep evidence.

Report content about you

On social networks you have the possibility to “report” content indicating that it does not respect the conditions of use. You can also report the profile to the following addresses: and

File a complaint

With all the supporting evidence and accompanied by a trusted person, file a complaint at the police station. You can join the Digital Brigade of the National Gendarmerie at any time via the website

Our advice

If you practice sexting, take all precautions to protect yourself. We advise you not to send images allowing you to be recognized in the event of a broadcast. Do not show your face, pay attention to piercings, tattoos, or other decorative elements that can make you identifiable.

The protection pack by HEYME

For 4.5 € / month, HEYME offers you the Protection Pack. An effective solution against cyber-maliciousness and to counter the risks of an active life on the Internet and on social networks.

Warranty digital life protection allows you to benefit from psychological and legal support and to take steps if you are a victim identity theft, of defamation on the web and all forms of harm to your e-reputation. It also intervenes if you encounter a dispute following a purchase on the internet.

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