Ontario, Canada – July 28, 2014 – To sext or not to sext? For the reported one out of every six kids who have received a “friend’s” and been asked to return the favour, there is pressure to participate. No longer categorized as a trend, sexting is an epidemic – an epidemic that now has a smart answer. The newly launched Send This Instead app gives a novel and witty way to say “No!” to the request for an intimate image.
Created by members of the Ontario Provincial Police, Child Sexual Exploitation Unit in Ontario, Canada, the free app gives an edgy and funny alternative to sexting. Understanding the social pressures to sext, Inspector Scott Naylor, manager of unit , says “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.”
Taking the idea to comedians, graphic artists and musicians who could bring the novelty of the app to a broader audience, the members dug in. As a result, the Send This Instead app contains digital posters of humorous and sarcastic retorts that users can send instead of nude photos. Combined with entertaining graphics, funny and pointed messages include, “Sorry, just in the middle of something…Can I reject you later?” and “Save the bandwidth….Download a life” among many others.
The free Send This Instead app also offers teen education called “Life Bytes” on how to deal with issues surrounding sexting. The app provides links to organizations like NeedHelpNow.ca, a website and program maintained by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection which helps kids get nude sexting photos off of the Internet. It also links to abuse pages for social media and IM platforms as well as to country-specific agencies to report people asking for nude images.
The Send This Instead website offers free media and presentation pieces for anyone reaching out to teens in a live setting, such as classrooms and community groups. The app can be used in tandem with the presentations.
Send This Instead is a free app developed by Joseph Versace, a programmer with the Ontario Provincial Police, Sexual Exploitation Unit in Ontario, Canada. The app was created to give kids a pointed, witty response to the pressure to send nude images online. The sexting alternative app is also a resource to help kids deal with nude images that have been circulated through their peer groups. Send This Instead is also a resource on how to report persons who harass.
The Send This Instead app is available in the Apple App Store as well as Google Play Store. To download click on the following links: