After all of the drama and speculation of last week, Rep. Anthony Weiner finally admitted yesterday to sending inappropriate photos to various women online. If you haven’t been able to follow everything that’s been going on with this New York Democrat, a tweet was sent over a week ago from Weiner’s account containing an image of a man wearing underwear. Weiner immediately said that his Twitter account had been hacked and that he couldn’t verify if the image was of him or not.
However, after more women came forward with photos, chats and emails that suggest various online relationships, Weiner finally set the record straight in a press conference seen below. He admitted to sending inappropriate photos – sexting – and confirmed that he had inappropriate communications with about six women over the past 3 years, some during when he was married. These were women that he generally met on Facebook and he maintains that he never met any of them in person or had any kind of physical relationship. As far as the publicly tweeted photo, he said that he meant to send it in a direct and private message to a woman in Seattle as a joke.
Instances of sexting are in the news more and more each day and not only cause damage to people’s online reputations but can negatively affect their professional careers and personal lives as well. While the Huffington Post published 20 hilarious suggestions for ways that Weiner could have kept his privates private (snail mail, message in a bottle, paper airplane), sexting is no joke. Kids are especially at risk when applying for college or after-school and summer jobs, as employees or admissions offices can easily find out a lot just by checking a kid’s social networks. Kids and teens shouldn’t include any kind of inappropriate content in wall posts, private messages, tweets or any other form of online communication, especially not photos of themselves. It only takes one inappropriate post or tweet to seriously affect a kid’s future, so discuss this recent “Weinergate” scandal with your kids and help them understand why sexting is never okay.
What forms of social media and networking do your kids use? Have you ever worried they might be at risk for tweeting or posting inappropriate content?