SEXTING AMONG CHILDREN: DIFFERENCES IN LAW BETWEEN MALAYSIAN, ENGLISH, AND AMERICAN LAWS
AbstractThe recent case of Sugarbook has sparked concerns among the public who are worried about young girls using applications on the Internet. Risky behaviors and worrying trends make online Internet users vulnerable to danger. Risky behaviors exhibited by youth such as distributing sexually explicit images and sharing sexually provocative photographs will not only expose them to danger but also be regarded as contravening the laws. There are also reported cases of revenge pornography among teenagers in local media. Despite the lack of research on this new trend of communication among children and young people in Malaysia, daily local newspapers have released worrying news of how relationships built on the Internet can turn into tragedies for innocent young people, especially teenagers and children. This paper discusses the possible meaning of sexting, the current laws, and the reported cases on sexting, particularly those captured in Malaysian media. This paper used secondary data and information gathered from articles in refereed journals to understand the legal differences between Malaysia and other jurisdictions, namely the USA and the UK. This paper suggests that besides the importance of educating youth to create legal awareness regarding proper use of the Internet, there is an urgent need to revisit the relevant legislations and practices on the governance of sexting in order to protect children and teenagers.
If the article is accepted for publication, copyright of this article will be vested to UPM Press, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).