Parents are naturally proud of their offspring but many do not realize that posting images and videos of their kids on social media can attract the seedier side of the world wide web. I have recently read an interesting article on the Malwarebytes security blog which confirmed something I already feared – that unsavory characters are following young children on social media and saving images of these kids numbering in the thousands. This type of disturbing behavior was brought to light when the TikTok account of a 3-year-old girl named Eleanor Wren attracted 17.3 million followers, a massive number of followers that rang alarm bells and initiated some amateur sleuthing.
One of those amateur sleuths, the mother of a 12-year-old girl, posted a video on Twitter detailing what she and other TikTok users have discovered about little Eleanor’s followers, including the huge number of times clips of the 3-year-old have been saved, unsavory search terms that include “wren”, and an unhealthy number of disgusting comments:
Social media is definitely a two-edged sword; it can be entertaining and a terrific platform for sharing special moments but, at the same time, can be a dangerous place for the innocents and inexperienced. Regardless of parents’ intentions, when they post pictures and videos of their children online publicly, they need to realize and accept that while the Internet can undoubtedly be fun, it also harbors creeps who follow social media accounts featuring kids for sinister reasons.
Part of the problem is the current trend of craving more and more “followers” and “likes” which can only be achieved when these platforms are set to “public”. Parents need to restrict the viewing audience by setting their chosen media platform(s) to “private”, thereby sharing only among family and friends. In my book, a child’s innocence and safety trumps followers and likes all day.
- Credit: Malwarebytes Blog