You'd never know from the front page of the Russian website iMGSRC that, within its depths, dozens of users are sharing photos of children in various states of undress. The comments sections underneath those photo galleries are full of other users, all anonymized, weighing in with correspondingly disturbing remarks. Richard Ciccarella is said to have uploaded topless pictures of a young female relative. Ciccarella pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to federal investigators about an email address for a Russian website; according to Assistant US Attorney Gregory Schiller, the photos didn't constitute child pornography.
Think again. Sexting — sharing sexually explicit photos, videos and chat by cell phone or online — is fairly commonplace among young people, despite sometimes grim consequences for those who do it. More than a quarter of young people have been involved in sexting in some form, an Associated Press-MTV poll found. That includes Sammy, a year-old from the San Francisco Bay Area who asked that his last name not be used. Sammy said he had shared naked pictures of himself with girlfriends.