There are more than 100 hashtags that attract child predators on social media, and the Child Rescue Coalition is urging parents to think of their children's right to privacy.
When the recent Facebook scandal broke, it was revealed that 50 million users had had their personal data compromised. This horrified many people, who had assumed their information was secure, that their privacy settings were adequate, and that Facebook could be trusted. What many have learned from the experience is that nothing is truly private on the Internet, and anything that gets posted can end up in the wrong hands.
The personal data of adults is one thing, but what about that of children? A new campaign launched by the Child Rescue Coalition is hoping to take advantage of the public discourse surrounding privacy to alert parents to the risks of posting pictures of their children on social media, as these too can be compromised.The campaign, titled Kids For Privacy, states that most parents post 1,500 photos of their child before they turn 5. Many will be accompanied by hashtags, including ones that put kids at risk, such as #pottytraining, #bathtime, #nakedkids, #childunderwear, #kidshowerparty, #pottylife, #toddlerbikini, #nakedtoddler, #bikinikids, #nakedkidsinatub. The hashtags and pictures may be cute, but they can put children at risk by attracting child predators and sex offenders on social media. It is every parent's worst nightmare, but it's a dark reality we need to acknowledge.
In response, the Child Rescue Coalition wants to launch a 'takeover' of these hashtags. Have your child draw a sign that says "Privacy Please" and hold it over their face. Post online, accompanied by one of the hashtags above, in hopes of spreading the message further afield that, while the kids may be yours, their privacy is their own.
Fast Company provides some background on the CRC:
"Through fundraising and donations, over the last decade the CRC built sophisticated tech tools to hunt online predators and has trained investigators in 50 states and 77 countries, resulting in the prosecution and conviction of more than 10,000 child predators and the rescue of over 2,000 children from sexual abuse. CRC is a private, non-profit organization and has built this advanced platform through fundraising and private donations."
Watch the campaign's promo video below: