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OMG! 'Sexting': First Amendment Right or Felony?

26 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2011  

Sherry Capps Cannon

Southern University Law Center

Date Written: March 21, 2011


The age old practice of "show me yours and I’ll show you mine" has taken on a new meaning in the modern era of cell phones and computers. The social networking opportunities afforded teenagers by texting has morphed into "sexting," a recent phenomenon involving the sending of nude or semi-nude pictures, often taken by the sender or a friend of the sender, via cell phone or other electronic device to another individual. As minors deal in "self-exploitation" through this activity, they create a difficult dilemma for society struggling to respond in an appropriate manner to children as they self-generate their own brand of child pornography.

The historical treatment of freedom of speech and pornography by the US Supreme Court is reviewed in this article. The first case on sexting to make its way through the federal courts, Miller v. Skumanick, is also examined to explore the legal implications of this modern day dilemma along with possible solutions for addressing this issue.

Suggested Citation

Cannon, Sherry Capps, OMG! 'Sexting': First Amendment Right or Felony? (March 21, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Sherry Capps Cannon (Contact Author)

Southern University Law Center ( email )

P.O. Box 9294
Baton Rouge, LA 70813
United States

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