A new ad campaign in BC’s Lower Mainland is hoping to get young people to think twice before sending explicit photos online.
Children of the Street Society, a Coquitlam-based charity, launched the “Uncertain Terms” campaign as part of their Predator Watch program.
The campaign aims to create awareness for teens and parents about the dangers associated with sharing explicit photos on social networking sites.
“In the last year, Children of the Street Society has seen an increase in young people being at risk for sextortion,” executive director Diane Sowden told Daily Hive.
“We wanted to bring it to the attention of the general public. By doing that hopefully, we are going to open up conversations between parents, caregivers and the youth,” Sowden said.
Children of the Street partnered with Vancouver advertising company Cossette to make the ads, which feature of series of three teenagers who appear to be naked.
Covering their bodies is a terms and conditions box that warns them that they are about to send an explicit photo, and the risks and consequences they could be facing by doing so.
Here are some examples:
“Sending this photo will allow the recipient access to more compromising photos and videos of your person, to be made available at their request.”
“By sending this photo you agree to do as the recipient demand, including but not limited to sending more and more compromising photos.”
“Are you sure you can trust the recipient?…Are you sure he won’t threaten to share [these photos] with your entire contact list?”
“These ‘Uncertain Terms’ are not always provided in real life and serve as a warning to others about the dangers of images sharing and sexual extortion,” Children of the Street Society say on their website.
Sowden says the ads will appear on 30 bus shelters around the Lower Mainland over the next six months.
Posters of the images will also be distributed to schools across the Lower Mainland and a 30-second PSA commercial will also be featured on television:
Sowden hopes that the campaign will encourage parents to take the initiative to open up a conversation with their teens about the dangers of sharing compromising photos online.
“I don’t think teens are going to approach their parents,” she said. “I think we need to educate parents to approach their teens.
“By the parents opening up the conversation they are giving their child permission to talk about this.”