Discretion is advised

Entire Forest Fire Staff

Earlier this year, there was a trend on the social media website Instagram of accounts dedicated to nude pictures of students in Wake County.

There are currently 15 accounts in the State Bureau of Investigation case. As of April 12, 7 of these 15 accounts were still active, though they were all set to private. In addition to accounts of students that attend Wake County schools, there are accounts for eight other counties in N.C.

According to an article done by WRAL, one of these accounts had over 1,700 followers. This is absurd on many levels.
We do not see the logic in sending anyone nude pictures of his or her self, no matter what the circumstance. Teens should never send nude pictures, even if it’s to someone they trust. As teens, we need to understand that we do not need to exploit ourselves in such manners to be considered “popular.”

We also do not follow the reasoning behind creating an Instagram account devoted to nude pictures of high-schoolers. Those who created the account need to understand how exploitative their actions are and how illeagal their actions are. There are ongoing investigations by both the Wake Forest police and the SBI, and though there are no charges yet, they are imminent.

In addition to cyber bullying, it was recently released that some of the pictures show sexual activities, so they can now be charged with second degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

Also, what type of person follows these accounts? Following one of these accounts sends a message to others that the followers should be concerned about. Future employers might take a peek at what type of people teens follow on Instagram. Teens need to be aware that they, themselves, do not have to post or share pictures to be tainted by this scandal. Following the account may be enough to damage one’s reputation irrevocably.

If all goes well, these accounts will be deleted. However, even after these heinous accounts have been annulled from Instagram, there will still be a lasting scar on those featured on any of the accounts.

We’ve all heard it many times: nothing can be deleted from the internet once it’s out there.

This holds true with these accounts as well. Those pictures will always be around, whether someone took a screen shot of them, if the originator of the photo still has it, or if they are simply floating around in web world, they will still exist. The mental damage that individuals in the photos are enduring is unimaginable.

Even though they made a poor decision in sending out those types of photos, they should not be publically humiliated in this type of manner. Nobody should undergo this experience, especially not high school students.

We suggest that teens stay on the safe side. Never send out nude pictures of yourself to anyone. Never lower your morals for anyone or anything. We advise you to use common sense with whatever you send out. If you wouldn’t want your parents to see it, then don’t send it.