Scouting magazine

Ethics debate: How to respond to inappropriate Internet content

Lead your Scouts or Venturers in the following ethics discussion about dealing with inappropriate Internet content.

The Dilemma
Like many teens, Jaylen has a smartphone full of social apps. Among his favorites is Snapchat, which lets friends send each other photos that automatically disappear after
10 seconds or less. He and his friends love sending each other random photos of cool cars, strangers with weird hair and big-as-your-face burgers.

One day, however, Jaylen receives a photo that surprises him: an R-rated photo of a teenage girl. He thinks the girl might be Makayla from his homeroom, but before he can decide for sure, the picture vanishes. A few seconds later, he gets a text from his friend Tyler: “Pls forget that pic. My bad.”

Try as he might, Jaylen can’t forget what he saw. Now he has to decide what, if anything, he should do in response.

For Discussion
After reading the scenario with your unit, discuss these questions about Internet safety and security:

Next, discuss these questions about Jaylen’s dilemma:

Finally, have the Boy Scouts or Venturers decide what, if anything, Jaylen should do. Once they’ve decided on a course of action, review the Level II Internet Safety Pledge, which Boy Scouts and Venturers agree to follow when earning the Cyber Chip. (Click on netsmartz.org/Resources/Pledges for more information.)

This pledge calls on young people in situations like this to save any evidence; tell a parent, guardian or other trusted adult; and report what they’ve seen to the website, cellphone company, CyberTipline.com or the police. Discuss how the course of action they chose compares with what the Internet Safety Pledge requires.