New technology and social media have made it easier for us to connect in a more efficient way. However, it has also introduced us to new dangers, especially to minors online.
To help educate parents on the dangers their children might be facing, or are susceptible to, on social media platforms, an American mom and her team – from the organisation Bark – were able to make her look like a preteen to catch predators in the act, ABC News reports.
Using modern technology, the team took more than two decades off the 37-year-old’s face, and changed her clothing, to lure the potential predators. Within a few minutes of setting up her profile, old men started asking the “minor” inappropriate questions and for indecent pictures.
The “child’s” Instagram was clearly represented as that of a minor; the bio stated that she’s in the sixth grade and her pictures supported that. However, in less than two minutes a profile with a picture of penis as an avatar liked her pictures, and more profiles similar to that requested to follow her.
In less than five minutes a man tried to video call her, and when she refused to show her face he told her not to be scared – something they all said, according to the team. One user, clearly an adult male, asked the minor to be his girlfriend, and further wrote, “A lot of boyfriends like it when their girlfriends give them a blowjob. Do you know what that means?”
The team then brought in a few parents to come see for themselves how dangerous social platforms online can be for minors if not monitored.
In another case, where the mom posed as a 15-year-old, she met with a 28-year-old man at what looks like a hotel foyer. The man couldn’t wait to get her upstairs to a room where they’d be alone.
The mom reveals that Bark has helped put predators, kidnappers and child molesters behind bars.
Some tips for parents on monitoring their child’s social media use include:
- Keep a watchful eye over their social media accounts
- Adjust the privacy settings
- Use safety software and child-friendly apps.
For more tips, go to: Regulate your child’s access to social media
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