Respect Online

Lots of people use social media in their relationships. We use it to connect with people that we know in person like friends, family, and schoolmates but we also use it to make new friends who share things in common with us.

It’s important that we’re just as respectful online as we are in person. It’s also important that you understand the legal implications of some online behaviour.

Legal implications of online behaviour

There are significant legal ramifications for online behaviour – from what you post, how you communicate, and who you talk to online.

The laws are different depending on the state or territory you’re in, so the best way to make sure you know the law and your rights is to visit Lawstuff, and read the sections on your state or territory.

rumour-mapCheck out our Rumour Map to see what can happen when information gets out online!

Always be careful with what you share online, and respect the privacy and consent of other people. If you’re not sure, don’t share.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Liam and Anna have been dating for a little while and they are beginning to explore the sexual side of their relationship. Liam decides to take a naked photo of himself to send to Anna, which he texts to her phone.

Put yourself in Anna’s shoes – what do you do?

  • You and Liam have a conversation about respectful behaviour, and agree not to send photos to each other. You cool off on the sexual side of the relationship for now, and decide to take it slow. This is a respectful response.
  • Your friends keep sending the photo on to other people, and soon everyone knows about it. Liam is really upset, and feels violated. He tells the Student Welfare teacher at school, and you are called in for a meeting. Did you know that in the ACT, sending or asking for a nude photo of someone under 18 is considered child pornography and is against the law? Showing someone under 16 a nude or sexual photo is considered an ‘act of depravity’ or an ‘indecent act’. Make sure you know the law!
  • Liam reports you to Facebook, and your account is suspended. You are also approached by the police, because posting the photo of Liam, who is under 18, is considered an act of child pornography. Your parents are called in, and you might be charged with proliferating child pornography.

Remember, it is really important to know what the consequences of online behaviours might be in real life. If you’re at all unsure, ask a parent or teacher.