More than a year back, child rights activists in Chennai came across and demanded to shut down two Facebook pages that were in Tamil. The pages were created to attract pedophiles with photographs of young girls with comments full of sexual connotation.
Social media giant Facebook has a policy that does not allow nude pictures, but these pages used pictures of children in full clothes. There was nothing sleazy or objectionable about the images – the photos were the kind you and I would post of our children. So technically it doesn’t fall under the obscenity category and hence the website’s algorithm was probably unable to decipher. Also, Facebook was unable to pick up on these pages because both the page and the comments were largely in Tamil and it is difficult to identify regional language words.
Online predators lift pictures from innocent posts uploaded by young children or their parents. Similar pages surfaced in Kerala too. After several complaints, the pages were pulled down. There were pictures of children from the age of 5 to 15 with sexually explicit comments. The cyber police had forwarded the complaint to Facebook and the page was taken down.
In today’s world of Social Media interactions, how much should parents share and how much should they refrain? Most parents embrace social networks as a way of keeping in touch with family and friends scattered across the globe, uploading pictures of their young children. While we shouldn’t let paranoia take over our lives, we have to be very careful when doing so. Bear in mind:
- Know how much to share. Never give away exact locations, school names and other such details.
- Understand the importance of not tagging locations
- Refrain from posting updates and pictures on a daily basis. It could entice someone within your circle.
- Use stricter privacy settings
With the perversion and pedophilic individuals all across the web, great caution should be exercised.