Local News

SBI now investigating Instagram photos of nude students in nine counties

Posted February 26, 2014

— An investigation that began in Wake County of nude photos of high school students on Instagram has expanded to at six more North Carolina counties, bringing the total to at least nine, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Justice said Wednesday.

Assistant Public Information Officer Alexander Mendoza said the State Bureau of Investigation is now looking into the matter in Chatham, Johnston, Edgecombe, Craven, Randolph and Surry counties.

In addition to Wake County, investigations are also underway in Durham and Pitt counties.

Photos of nude boys and girls who authorities believe attend several local high schools began showing up on the social media site in Wake County this month, prompting a Wake Forest mother to call police after learning about it from her daughter.

The Durham County Sheriff's Office said a 17-year-old girl last week reported nude photos of her showing up on Instagram, and a 14-year-old girl told a school resource officer at her middle school that nude photos of her were being shared online.

Authorities have subpoenaed Facebook, which owns Instagram, for user information associated about several accounts, according to search warrants.

School system representatives have said they are cooperating with authorities in the investigation, and authorities are urging parents to talk to their children about the dangers of posing for or posting sexually explicit photos.

"They have to be made aware that what they do is on there forever," said Russell Gilmore, a cyber-security specialist with Raleigh-based Risk Management Associates.

"When you share a photograph through a social media website or with a friend, you don't know where that picture is going," he said. "You have no clue if it's being shared with one person or 1,000."


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  • tbg0519 Feb 28, 2014

    Start with charging the person who took the picture with child pornography. I don't care if it was a selfie. Actions have consequences. Maybe then kids and parents will wake up.

  • death from above Feb 27, 2014

    person whom took the pictures, person whom passed them/uploaded them, the parents of both persons. charge them with everything and anything they can be charged with. why? the child who took it broke the law ,the person whom passed it broke the law . the parents because some one 18 or older had to sign the user agreement to activate the phones then passed the phones off. If they look long enough and hard enough their going to find this in every county and most likely every state. and my humble opinion the problem starts at home and the start of fixing it is at home.

  • Not_Time_Yet Feb 27, 2014

    Add to this story that other article about how easy it is to hack a cell phone and take control. Which means pics can be added, downloaded, sent, and the phone owner would not have a clue until the investigators knock on their door.

  • winemaker81 Feb 27, 2014

    "Thank God this problem is finally being investigated by the authorities, and hopefully some new laws will stop this. " -- BNICE2

    You completely misunderstand what laws are. Laws stop nothing, they do not prevent behavior. Laws define what is and is not legal, and provide for arrest, prosecution, and punishment -- AFTER a crime has been committed.

    Anyone want their kids to not do things? Teach them the ramifications and consequences of their actions. But don't expect miracles. Far too many people (not just children) don't believe things will happen to them, or that they are exempt, or something equally irrational ....

  • David McIntee Feb 27, 2014
    user avatar

    Parents need to wake up!

    If I were a school administrator, I would haul each and every parent into the auditorium and read the riot act about parenting. Unfortunately, the public schools have taken over the job for the parents.

  • BlahBlahBlahBlahBlah Feb 26, 2014

    Before too long, they will find these pictures be in 100 counties in NC .
    We let technology run with these children and ruin some lives..
    We had no rules..still do not have many.

  • Justin Bridges Feb 26, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    No one has ever made a claim that any of these pictures were taken without the kids knowledge. Stop trying to make this some big conspiracy. These are self made pictures that they send out to their boyfriends and girlfriends and then get passed around to everyone else.

  • proudgrandmomma Feb 26, 2014

    Instagram huh? Well what do you know it has a rainbow logo (alternative lifestyle lol.) and now you wonder how it is degrading the morels of our youths? Ummm not too hard to figure it out folks!

  • katzpauz Feb 26, 2014

    This all started with the children taking nude photos of themselves and then sharing them.......how do you address that?

  • Barbara Horton Feb 26, 2014
    user avatar

    Why are all these kids taking nude photos of themselves anyway, much less sharing them with other people?? We are obviously not teaching our youth to have self respect! This country is doomed!!