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Don’t let your life be ruined by seeking five minutes of teenage internet ‘fame’
A Harrogate Fixer is warning other teenagers about the dangers of following the trend of posting provocative pictures of themselves online.
Jade Weatherill, 17, has seen the negative impact other young people have suffered as a consequence of seeking internet ‘fame’ in this way.
Now working with Fixers, the national movement of young people ‘fixing’ the future, Jade is leading a group which is producing a viral advert to get their message across.
Aimed at urging 13 to 17-year-olds not to fall victim to the fad, the viral advert will be posted on social media websites.
Jade Weatheril who attends Harrogate College said:
There is a lot of pornography on social media sites that young people are putting up themselves.
It’s an issue that needs to be targeted. If we can get one person to think about not putting compromising pictures of themselves online or being rude and obnoxious, that would be a great thing for us to achieve.
The group say they have witnessed girls as young as 12 using sexually explicit language and encouraging others to engage sexually with them online.
And they have been aware of girls aged 14-17 posting naked and semi-naked images of themselves, or sending sexually explicit text messages to their boyfriends, which have then been uploaded onto the internet when the relationship ends.
In research for their campaign, the Fixers spoke to one young woman, on the basis of anonymity, who told how her life was devastated when a friend took a naked photo of her in the bathroom without her consent – and posted it on social media.
A Young woman, who has asked to remain anonymous, said:.
I had more than 100 friend requests as a result of the picture being posted online.
Some people thought it was a big joke.
I was so upset that I missed an exam, I didn’t leave the house for about four months and I put on loads of weight. It left me unable to trust people.
Dr Dan Laughey, a senior lecturer in Media Theory at Leeds Metropolitan University, has researched the modern phenomenon of internet fame.
Dr Laughey said:
It does feel a bit like being a very minor celebrity and for some young people that’s a vehicle for freedom of expression.
I think young people often believe that what they’re doing is fairly private and locked in, but it is in fact very much available for anyone to see. They’ve left a digital footprint and anyone can trace it.
The group’s Fixers campaign is due to be the subject of a broadcast on ITV News Calendar on Thursday, June 6 from 6pm.
Fixers is a charity which supports thousands of young people across the UK to take action and change things for the better, addressing any issue they feel strongly about.
How each Fixer tackles an issue is up to them – as long as they benefit someone else.
The award-winning Fixers project has already supported around 7,800 young people across the UK to have an authentic voice in their community.
With funding from the Big Lottery, Fixers aims to work with a further 20,000 young people over the next three years.