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Local students respond to Twitter scandal

Posted: July 19, 2014 9:36 p.m.
Updated: July 19, 2014 9:36 p.m.
 

As a special Sheriff’s Department’s unit continues to investigate a Twitter account that posted nude photos of teenagers, including Santa Clarita Valley teens, several local high school students said they have no idea who created the account.

The account, which had the handle @scvpurge_1, went up on Wednesday night and had thousands of followers by Thursday, when it was taken down.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Special Victims Bureau detectives are investigating the incident, categorizing the postings as child pornography.

The profile picture for the Twitter account featured an image from the 2013 horror film “The Purge,” according to Saugus High School senior Jayme Morgenstern, who said he viewed the account live Thursday morning before it was taken down.

Morgenstern believes Santa Clarita’s lack of activities for local teens could explain why the account gained so many followers so quickly.

“I think that it happened because there is nothing to do in Santa Clarita, and some people found the drama entertaining,” Morgenstern said Saturday. “I guess it makes them feel better about themselves by doing this to other people.”

Cameron Crawford, who graduated earlier this year from West Ranch High School, also was watching the Twitter account as it exploded with followers. Crawford said Friday he did not recognize anyone in the pictures, but noticed that the comments written were both positive and negative.

“I thought it was interesting that while it was going on some people were actually cheering them on,” Crawford said. “Most of the comments I have read, though, have called it really stupid.”

Deputies at the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau, which regularly issues press releases on behalf of the department, have referred all questions about the case to Special Victims Bureau spokesman Brian Hudson.

Hudson was not available for comment Saturday. Sheriff’s officials released no new information about the case Saturday.

Another local high school student, who wished to remain anonymous, believes the Twitter account could have been created as retaliation for bullying, She said she hopes the incident serves to teach young people a lesson about privacy.

“I think this taught everyone about who they can trust, and that they have to be careful what they say or send to other people,” the student said. “People should learn to respect themselves and respect their bodies.”

The film “The Purge” is about an annual 12-hour period in which any and all crime activity becomes legal. Officials haven’t commented about any possible connection between the movie and the account itself.

Staff Writer Hector Gonzalez contributed to this article

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