Microsoft in 'sexting' row over Kin advert
Published 16/04/2010 | 16:43
A video for new 'social' handsets shows teenagers exchanging 'explicit' pictures through their mobile phones.
The advert, which appears on the official Microsoft Kin website, shows groups of youngsters using their phones to keep in touch.
Microsoft is positioning the Kin One and Kin Two as 'social' devices, capable of connecting people with their friends and social network, and making it easier to share content, such as pictures, with people they know.
In one scene, a young man pulls up his shirt and takes a photo of his bare chest before sending it to a female friend.
The clip has sparked accusations that Microsoft is encouraging 'sexting', where young people send explicit pictures to one another using their mobile phones.
The video was brought to light by Consumer Reports, a US-based consumer interest group.
Although some web users have shrugged off concerns about the video, others have pointed out that Microsoft is aiming its Kin devices at young teenagers, the age demographic for which 'sexting' is a particular problem.
One in four people aged between 13 and 18 have admitted to sending explicit videos and photos to other youngsters, according to research from the University of Plymouth.
"Sexting is a significantly larger problem than we had first imagined," said Dr Andy Phippen, one of the researchers behind the University of Plymouth study.
"It shows a population who are unconcerned about intimacy or privacy, yet are ill-equipped to understand the implications of their actions."
Microsoft was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.