An ‘edgy and funny alternative to sexting’.
The Child Exploitation Unit of the Ontario Provincial Police in Canada has launched a new app to help teenagers deny requests for naked pictures online, amid what officials describe as a sexting ‘epidemic’.
Claimed to offer an edgy and funny alternative to sexting, the new ‘Send This Instead’ app comprises an extensive gallery of digital posters of humorous and sarcastic retorts that can be sent instead of nude photos.
The free app includes a link to police to report cases of sexual harassment.
Child Exploitation Unit manager Inspector Scott Naylor said: "Until now, anti-sexting campaigns have focused on warning kids about the dangers of sending explicit pictures of themselves.
"But it isn’t working, we need a new strategy."
Images offered with the ‘Send This Instead’ app combine entertaining graphics, funny and pointed messages including, "Sorry, just in the middle of something…Can I reject you later?" and "Save the bandwidth….Download a life," among several others.
Mainly aimed at Canadian teens, the new app will also be launched globally upon its official roll out at the Crimes Against Children Conference in Dallas, Texas on 11-14 August 2014.
In addition to offering teen education called "Life Bytes" on how to deal with issues surrounding sexting, the free ‘Send This Instead’ app also offers links to organizations like NeedHelpNow.ca, in addition to abuse pages for social media and IM platforms.
The app was released after another similar venture last October, called Zipit, in the UK.