Lamorinda Nudes Dropbox Must Come Down

Sofia Ruiz, Staff Writer

“Like trading cards”? That’s the title of a dropbox site full of explicit pictures of girls from the Lamorinda area. It has been active for several years now, and has over 520 pictures. The link is mostly shared among male students, and some even receive it for their birthdays. Some girls are in possession of the link as well.

Boys post pictures that they have received from girls that the girls have taken themselves. Other times the boy has taken the photo himself, or he screenshots a facetime or snapchat conversation.

Although boys don’t generally voice their distaste of the site, many girls tend to be uncomfortable with the thought of their peers being nothing more than “trading cards.”

So far, people have turned a blind eye to it. Students hear about the website and its content, they develop their personal opinion about it, express their views to whoever is with them at the time, and then carry on with their lives. But the real question is: Should it continue to be ignored?

Teenagers sending explicit photos to each other is nothing new. There are reports all over the United States of girls’ pictures being spread around their schools. But this website is different because it is not an isolated incident; some girls have several pictures on the site, and the list has been growing.

According to to the United States Department of Justice, “Child pornography is a form of child sexual exploitation. Federal law defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (persons less than 18 years old).” According to this definition, this dropbox is a compilation of child pornography. “Federal law prohibits the production, distribution, importation, reception, or possession of any image of child pornography,” and therefore, this dropbox is illegal, and  “convicted offenders face fines [and/or] severe statutory penalties.”

The main problem lies in the boys that upload the pictures. Boys must respect girls that trust them enough to send intimate photos. When a guy uploads a picture a girl has sent him he is breaking the trust she placed in him and shows a lack of empathy and morals. If someone trusts you, respect that. Delete the photos if the urge to post them is too great. But one must have respect for others, especially people that have shared photos of themselves.

To stop this trend, girls also need to understand that private photos they send to boys may not always stay private. Although it would be nice to trust everyone, taking people into our confidence is a risk because they can violate that trust. Girls should never feel pressured to send compromising pictures of themselves. As cliché as it sounds, whatever goes on the internet stays there forever, and if a guy uploads a photo of you to a site, it will never go away.

Guys sometimes harass girls for nude photos, even after a girl has made it clear she does not want to send any. This is most often done through text or apps like snapchat. This needs to stop, because it is a disgraceful practice and can lead to private photos being shared on a larger scale, such as on this dropbox.

This dropbox, and websites like it, should be shut down, even if that means law enforcement intervening. It exploits girls’ trust and reflects poorly on what we as a community find acceptable; it is a truly shameful thing. Hopefully, those who created this site will come to their senses, and take the site down themselves.