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When you’re in the heat of the moment, sexting seems like the most natural thing to do. Doesn’t a picture seem like the best way to follow up that provocative emoji?


Of course, you’ve heard that before, and you already know not to do it. And still … in the heat of the moment you get stupid. Young people are particularly vulnerable to risks that hitting ‘send’ poses. That photo – that you took in private – slips from your control the moment you send it on a journey to another person’s phone. You’ve given up a certain level of control over your story and cracked open the door to sexual exploitation.

What if you were interrupted with terms of service just before you hit ‘send’?

This brilliant ad campaign by Cossette Vancouver explores what would happen if users were confronted with terms of service before they send a photo. It lays out what exactly can happen if someone abuses what you’ve sent. The campaign is titled “Uncertain Terms” and shows people who are about to send compromising photos details of the terrible price they are so docilely agreeing to.

One ad shows how the person you send the picture to holds all the power. In the fictional terms of service its states that the user is agreeing to “do as the recipient demands, including but not limited to sending more and more compromising photos.”


These ads also remind users to be aware that their friends and family could see these photos, if not now, somewhere along the road. “Are you sure you want to give him that much power?”


The ad below implores users to be aware of how much they are sharing.


It is very tricky to form digital relationships, even if you know the person in real life. Text-based communication can escalate feelings of intimacy and illusions of safety. The ads above are a good reminder of this, and the use of legal fine print is very effective in breaking the spell.

For parents who may be facing this situation, Children of the Street Society has some good resources available on their website. You can also find more resources here.