Taking a selfie is a common and popular phenomenon for people in Georgia and throughout the country. While many selfies are fun, they can be illegal if they contain sexual images and/or nudity of someone who is underage. If obtained in the wrong hands, a well-intentioned selfie can be the subject of a child pornography charge.

FindLaw discusses how teenagers, especially, participate in producing, possessing and distributing child pornography without even realizing it. Both teenage girls and boys take selfies of a sexual nature and send it to their boyfriend/girlfriend. This, in and of itself, in many states constitutes child pornography. If the receiver of the picture then forwards it on to others, this can become an even bigger issue. Once a sexually explicit picture passes state or international borders, it becomes a federal offense. Every person who is in possession of the selfie can potentially face charges for child pornography. 

Some may argue that purposely taking a naked photo of oneself and sending it to someone else is anyone’s right and it falls under the First Amendment. However, the United States Department of Justice reports that there is not protection regarding child pornography images and that they are illegal. In contrast to what some may believe, child pornography pictures do not have to depict a minor participating in sexual activity or acting against his or her will.

The United States takes cases of child pornography seriously, and convicted offenders can face numerous consequences such as mandatory prison time and fines. This is in addition to any possible state convictions. Due to the severity of the crime, children and minors need to think twice before taking an incriminating selfie and sending it to someone else.