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Sexting — the practice of taking explicit images and sending them electronically, with or without consent — has been roundly condemned, and laws enacted to clamp down on the practice. But a Victorian parliamentary inquiry is discovering that the issue is more nuanced than many realise, and current laws may be creating more young victims. Swinburne University journalism students and Crikey have teamed up to read through the inquiry’s 60 submissions. We’ll dig beneath the surface to bring you a diversity of views — and perhaps change your mind. Here are The Sext Files.


Sext files closed? Proposed decriminalising for ‘harmless’ texts

After a parliamentary inquiry, a committee has proposed descriminalising sexting in Victoria. Young people caught on the Sex Offenders Register could now be delisted.

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The Sext Files: acting Privacy Commissioner speaks out

Victoria’s acting Privacy Commissioner is concerned about the prosecution of young people for sexting. Swinburne University student Antoinette Cunningham looks at his concerns.

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The Sext Files: do girls get the blame when sexting goes wrong?

Lawyers warn against draconian punishment of young people who sext. Swinburne University student Laura Davies hears what the beaks have to say.

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The Sext Files: people should be at liberty to sext, says Liberty Victoria

There’s a case for allowing people the freedom to sext, if they want to. Swinburne University student Stefan Bradley talks to libertarians.

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The Sext Files: kids as young as eight try out sexting

A South Australian academic warns that young children are sexting. Swinburne University student Laura Jaquest investigates.

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The Sext Files: youthful embarrassment can end careers

It’s not all about legal consequences when young people’s sexting falls foul of public expectations, writes Swinburne University student Jarrah Gerstle.

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The Sext Files: Victoria’s lewd text laws breach UN human rights obligations

Young sexting offenders should, in theory, be protected from Victoria’s harsh anti-sexting laws under UN conventions, according to human rights groups. Swinburne University student Raphael Teazis asked the experts.

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The Sext Files: teenagers seek shelter from anti-porn laws

Teenagers feel victimised by the anti-sexting laws that were designed for their protection. Now they’re speaking out to Swinburne University student Eloise Manion.

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The Sext Files: how explicit videos turn teachers into cops

Sexting is criminalising a part of young people’s new sexual awakening, but this role, often left to schools is being blurred with the courts. Swinburne University student Daniel Geikowski looks at youth workers’ concerns.

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The Sext Files: Can young people consent to explicit videos?

In the Macedon Ranges, the local response to young people sexting as been to seek clarity and education, writes Swinburne University student Sandra Di Francesco.

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The Sext Files: when a child is labelled a s-x offender

Even when courts dismiss charges of sexting, young people are still punished with inclusion on the Sex Offenders’ Register, writes Swinburne University journalism student Alice Krieger.

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The Sext Files: Christian lobby wants tougher laws to protect children

Sexting is part of a damaging wave of sexualisation affecting young children — and an internet filter and tougher codes of conduct would help address the problem, the Australian Christian Lobby says. Swinburne University students Karlee Ventre and Darren Doukas look at the ACL’s concerns.

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The Sext Files: ‘these people are not serious sex offenders’

Current sexting laws mean young people are winding up on the Sex Offenders Register who shouldn’t be there, some legal experts have told a parliamentary inquiry. Swinburne University students Dimity Hawkins and Simeon Barut investigate as part of Crikey’s series The Sext Files.

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The Sext Files: why current laws are creating new victims

Draconian anti-sexting laws may end up unfairly designating teenagers involved in taking the images as sex offenders. Swinburne University students Bridget Northeast and Justin Daly investigate.

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The Sext Files: the youth mobile craze that has lawyers worried

It’s easy to condemn explicit texting — but the victims may not be who you think. Crikey and Swinburne University journalism students today begin a new series into the issue. Andrew Dodd and Ken Haley explain.

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