Sextortion in High School
GQ has a rather weird piece about something that may or may not be a trend: High school kids using the Internet to extort sexual favors. This one has a twist, which I’ll lot Conor Friedersdorf summarize:
Tony Stancl, an 18 year old high school senior who created a fake female identity on Facebook, flirted with male classmates by Internet chat, and successfully encouraged hundreds of them to send along naked photographs. These he kept on his computer. The unluckiest victims were subsequently blackmailed. The made up female would threaten to release the photographs unless the boys performed oral or anal sex on “my friend Tony.” Some boys agreed, and allowed that to be photographed too.
Conor has an excellent disquisition on the culture that allows high schoolers to casually get photographed nude and send said pics to complete strangers. It’s worth reading.
My thoughts upon reading his precis, however, were not so much to the issue of the photographs per se but the fact that some significant number of high school boys allowed themselves to be blackmailed into gay sex rather than have nude photographs of themselves revealed. Let’s just say my reaction precisely mirrored that which President Obama would have upon being told additional troops were needed in Afghanistan.