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Scandal...or Not?


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Should gay websites be allowed to use photos of teens playing sports? Fully clothed ok? Shirts off? What about the same photos, wholesome in themselves, on a gay porn site? Here's the story:

 

Teen Swimmers' Photos Put on Gay Sites

 

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published: January 20, 2008

Filed at 9:35 a.m. ET

 

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) -- Several gay adult Web sites have posted photographs of teenage water polo players from several high schools in Southern California, a newspaper reported.

 

Some of the pictures, of boys as young as 14, were displayed next to photos of nude young men and graphic sexual content, an Orange County Register investigation found.

 

Parents, coaches and school officials were alarmed, and parents said some of the boys were traumatized and sought counseling.

 

''These kids don't look at what they do as shameful,'' said Joan Gould, an international water polo official and a spokeswoman for a group of Orange County water polo parents. ''For someone to come in and take what these kids are doing and take it out of context and exploit these images, these kids and their schools, because you can see the school name on the caps, is just horrible.''

 

Police at the University of California, Irvine, confirmed they are investigating whether a campus police dispatcher had photographed the high school athletes for gay-oriented sites. The man had not been charged, and police Chief Paul Henisey said he remained on duty.

 

''We're looking into the matter,'' Henisey said. ''We're not exactly sure about what we have or what kinds of issues there are.''

 

It was not clear if posting the pictures constituted an offense.

 

''With free speech and photography, there's a gray cloud in terms of what is legal, constitutional,'' said state Assemblyman Jose Solorio, chairman of the Assembly Public Safety Committee.

 

Solorio said he would have the committee investigate the matter.

 

The Register said it found photos of players from 11 Orange County high schools plus schools in Los Angeles and San Diego counties on several pages of one gay porn site registered to a London address. Photos were also posted on other sites, the paper reported.

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Should gay websites be allowed to use photos of teens playing sports? Fully clothed ok? Shirts off? What about the same photos, wholesome in themselves, on a gay porn site? Here's the story:

 

Teen Swimmers' Photos Put on Gay Sites

 

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published: January 20, 2008

Filed at 9:35 a.m. ET

 

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) -- Several gay adult Web sites have posted photographs of teenage water polo players from several high schools in Southern California, a newspaper reported.

 

Some of the pictures, of boys as young as 14, were displayed next to photos of nude young men and graphic sexual content, an Orange County Register investigation found.

 

Parents, coaches and school officials were alarmed, and parents said some of the boys were traumatized and sought counseling.

 

''These kids don't look at what they do as shameful,'' said Joan Gould, an international water polo official and a spokeswoman for a group of Orange County water polo parents. ''For someone to come in and take what these kids are doing and take it out of context and exploit these images, these kids and their schools, because you can see the school name on the caps, is just horrible.''

 

Police at the University of California, Irvine, confirmed they are investigating whether a campus police dispatcher had photographed the high school athletes for gay-oriented sites. The man had not been charged, and police Chief Paul Henisey said he remained on duty.

 

''We're looking into the matter,'' Henisey said. ''We're not exactly sure about what we have or what kinds of issues there are.''

 

It was not clear if posting the pictures constituted an offense.

 

''With free speech and photography, there's a gray cloud in terms of what is legal, constitutional,'' said state Assemblyman Jose Solorio, chairman of the Assembly Public Safety Committee.

 

Solorio said he would have the committee investigate the matter.

 

The Register said it found photos of players from 11 Orange County high schools plus schools in Los Angeles and San Diego counties on several pages of one gay porn site registered to a London address. Photos were also posted on other sites, the paper reported.

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This is an non-issue, IMHO.

 

If local papers are going to cover high school sports then photos of young atheletes should be used with or without shirts.

 

What is done with those photos later may be a matter for concern but infringing on the right to publish them in a legitimate way as part of sports coverage seems silly to me.

 

Mark

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I don't mean to diminish any of the reporting in this story but I have to ask this question ... what kind of teenage boy who is a jock and plays sports and has to appear before a crowd wearing a speedo in a pool to play water polo or swim ... would be "traumatized and have to seek counseling" after hearing that their photo showed up on a gay website as opposed to the Orange County Register?

 

I'm not saying it might not be a concern but I think the parents are "traumatized." I cannot believe that one of these jocks is "traumatized."

 

Mark

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Much ado about nothing.

 

It's legal to take pictures of public events. It's legal to publish pictures of public events. Otherwise, your local television station wouldn't have a sports reporter at all.

 

Once a picture is published, wherever that my be, there is no controlling where it might land. How many of the pictures that guys "publish" here in the MC were intended to be here? (Escorts aside..)

 

There will probably be "well-meaning" attempts at various bans on photographers at HS events, but they will whither and die when mommies and daddies discover that cameras are banned at Junior's graduation. Or when they realize that their star quarterback will never be in the newspaper because there are no photographers.

 

It's the never-ending struggle of the digital age.

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Guest ryan2552

Fascinating topic. First I wondered just who are the people looking at gay porn sites that found the photos described in the article. Well I didn't have to wonder very long:

 

(Foothill High parent La Donna Verloop said she saw images of current and former Foothill aquatics athletes on Web sites during the fall. One player was adjusting his suit. Another was changing his suit.

 

"It made me sick to my stomach," Verloop recalled. "I wanted to throw up. ... If my kid was on there, you could be sure that I would have these people in court."

 

Verloop said she immediately notified the families of the situation.)

 

As already noted by a poster, I too find it difficult to believe that these young guys feel as if they have been "traumatized." I'm also curious why parents such as, La Donna Verloop are surfing gay porn sites.

 

For me the greater question is why are these photos of minors appearing on porn sites should certainly be addressed. I don't look at this as a question of free speech or the symptom of the digital age. I do see a thinly disguised way for these sites to appeal to those attracted to minors. This I do have an issue with and hope the sites in question will rethink their values.

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