Privacy and social media

Social media

Don't let a photo ruin a future. When you upload an image to social media, you never know where it may end up. What you intend to share only with friends could be viewed by a much wider audience including your family, friends, boyfriends or girlfriends and even future employers.

Before you leave for Schoolies, make sure you:

  • set your profiles to private or friends only and only accept friend requests from people you know and trust.
  • tell your friends to ask for your permission before uploading and/or tagging a photo of you and do the same for them.

When you’re at Schoolies:

  • think before you share. Would you be happy if your parents saw the photo? Would you be OK with a future employer seeing it?
  • be a good mate and don’t share embarrassing photos of your friends online. Imagine if their grandparents saw it?
  • remember that you may be filmed or photographed at any time.  Schoolies have been charged after their stupid behaviour was caught on camera, so be responsible and aware.
  • don’t film crimes or assaults to promote them online as you could be charged and face heavy fines or a criminal conviction.
  • if a friend has tagged you in an inappropriate photo ask them to remove the image from social media. A real friend would respect your wishes.

Check out the ThinkUKnow website for more information.

Sexting

If you receive a sexting photo, put yourself in the shoes of the person who is in the picture. They may not know the photo was taken and it is a huge breach of their privacy to send it to anyone else. Posting or emailing sexting or inappropriate images of other people, particularly those under 18, is a criminal offence. You could face child pornography charges if the photograph or footage is of someone under the age of 18. Never send inappropriate images to anyone else.

If you send an explicit photo of yourself to someone you cannot control where it goes. When it's on the internet, it's on there forever. The consequences of sexting can include:

  • damage to your reputation
  • damage to your self esteem
  • family, friends, teachers and employers could see the photos
  • cyber bullying
  • losing valuable friendships or relationships with family members and partners
  • depression and anxiety.

Read more about sexting and the legal implications at The Line.

You’re being stalked?

On the first night at Schoolies we had heaps of fun meeting lots of new people. We had singlets printed with our mobile numbers on them and wanted to see who could get the most phone calls from guys.

When I woke up the next day, I had nine missed calls on my phone from the same number. All the girls were saying I was lucky because no one had called them. I didn’t know who it was from so I didn’t call them back, but then the text messages started. The messages said stuff like, "I like the way you look" and "When can we meet up?"

I called the number to find out who was calling and texting me. The guy that answered said that he saw my phone number on my singlet and he really wanted to meet up, but I was creeped out. I told him it was a joke and I had a boyfriend and to stop calling me. He didn’t stop calling. Even though I ignored his calls, he still left messages and started to sound more aggro with each message. In one of the messages he said, "I know where you are staying". It really freaked me out and I turned my phone off and left it off for the whole day. When I turned it back on, there were heaps of messages.

What should I do?

While Schoolies is a great place to meet new people, never display your phone number publicly or give your phone number or the location of your accommodation to people you don’t know and trust. Phone stalking can grow into physical stalking. Stalking is a criminal offence.

If you’re feeling unsafe or threatened, don’t risk it — contact the police.

* Real names have not been used.

You receive an inappropriate photo?

During Schoolies I was having a quiet night but my friend Jessica* was down at the beach with some other girls from our school. In the middle of the night I received a text from Jessica with a naked pic of a guy. They had been hanging out with some other guys from our school and one of them sent her a pic of him – I was grossed out. 

What should I do?

Delete it straight away and tell your friend to delete it too!

You could be charged and registered as a sex offender if you send, receive or forward a sexually explicit image of a person under the age of 18.

Remember, don’t let a photo ruin a future.

* Real names have not been used.

Is your feedback

Please submit your comments on the department's Compliments and Complaints section.

Please submit your comments on the Queensland Government website Contacts form.