NORTHEAST, Miss. (WCBI) – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram–the world of social media has expanded in the last few years. With all of the new connections comes complications, especially with the younger generation. Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has a message for parents.
“If adults can’t handle this technology and it’s so new, how do we expect our children to do it? ” said Hood.
Attorney General Jim Hood is stepping up efforts to prevent teens and young adults from illegally posting on-line, especially social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Most recently, Hood says he’s received complaints about people creating false accounts and posting inappropriate pictures of young girls on Instagram:
“The problem is that’s the same crime if you’re under the age of 18, you make a picture like that and send it over cell phone or whatever. That’s child pornography that’s punishable by a 5 year minimum mandatory sentence, 40 year maximum. ”
Hood is working with the Mississippi Department of Education and all Colleges and Universities across the state.
He’s asking schools to play an active role and encourage students to be good digital citizens. Hood says though he doesn’t believe prosecuting teens will completely solve the issue, students should know there are serious legal consequences.
“If you threaten somebody online it is a felony and we will track you down. They think they’re anonymous out there but we track them down every single day and are knocking on doors. ”
Each school will receive two posters about online safety awareness. There will also be radio and television PSAs available for campus stations.
The Attorney General is also encouraging parents to take a more active role to find out what their children are doing online.