This article critically assesses the legal issues surrounding the contemporary act of adolescent sexting via the philosophical methodology of ontology. Through this methodology the article aims to highlight the significance of the mobile phone, and the social objects which it produces in the world, pertaining to the act of sexting. Highlighting this device’s abilities, uses, and present-day ubiquity offers an alternate insight to both the current legislative parameters and legal commentary on sexting. This is because neither the law governing sexting, nor the majority of the legal commentary on this act, has engaged with the presence of the mobile phone in our contemporary world and the way it has revolutionised our lives. In order to offer an alternative lens through which to view this act, the article draws on the deconstructive work of Jacques Derrida and the new realist ontology of Maurizio Ferraris, to offer comment on how and why digital writing must be reckoned with in the twenty-first century. Using these theorists, and others, the article illustrates the importance of the mobile phone and how its role as the quintessential writing machine of the third millennium must be recognised in order to correctly legislate the act of adolescent sexting.
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences\School of Law
Year of publication: 2017Date of RADAR deposit: 2017-10-20