'Sneaky Hat trend' driving teens to post near-naked pics on Facebook

   Nov 23, 3:25 pm

Melbourne, Nov 23 (ANI): A new craze has taken over Facebook where teenagers take lewd photos of themselves and post it on the net with nothing but a hat covering their private area.

According to the Herald Sun, the Sneaky Hat trend has been branded a "paedophile's paradise" and involves mostly young people posing in nothing but a hat covering their genitals.

Countless Facebook pages and other sites, open for anyone to see, have sprung up showing male and female teens in provocative poses since it reportedly originated from a Queensland high school.

Cyber safety campaigner Susan Mclean said contributors to the fad were not only staining their futures but also risking child pornography charges.

"It's no use saying its just fun, it's harmless fun, the consequences can be quite severe," the Daily Telegraph quoted Mclean as saying.

"It is going to end in tears and those pictures - it's not like sending it on your phone to your boyfriend who may or may not send it on - this is on www (world wide web).

"They're on public sites, anyone can see them and people are posting them with their names, they're proud of the photos," she said.

A Queensland Police spokesperson said they were monitoring the trend but a Victoria Police spokesperson said there had been no reports they knew of in Victoria.

"Children under the age of 18 all over Australia are routinely being charged with child pornography offences," Mclean said.

The craze has spawned spin-offs such as girls and boys-only sites, and location-specific groups such as 'Sneaky Hat Brisbane'.

Child psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg said t hat the lewd trend showed Australia had been given an "epic fail" in cyber safety education.

"You've got the perfect storm here. You've got the immature teenage brain with the technology which is in the moment and of the moment," Carr-Gregg said.

"Combine those two things together and you have precisely the sort of behaviour you're going to get and without any regard at all to the implications for the young person in the future," he added. (ANI)

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