Over a year ago, child-rights activists in Chennai came across two Facebook pages with text in Tamil, that had been created to attract pedophiles. The pages featured photographs of young girls with comments loaded with sexual connotations.
Social media giant Facebook has a policy that does not allow nude pictures, but these pages used pictures of fully clothed children. There was nothing sleazy or objectionable about the images — the photos were of the kind you and I would post of our children. So, technically they cannot be categorised as obscene which is why the website's algorithm was probably unable to detect them. Also, Facebook was unable to pick up on these pages because both the text on the page and the comments were largely in the Tamil language.
Online predators lift pictures from innocent posts uploaded by young children or their parents.
Online predators lift pictures from innocent posts uploaded by young children or their parents. Similar pages have surfaced in Kerala too and were pulled down only after several complaints. They featured pictures of children of ages 5 to 15, along with sexually explicit comments. The police sent a complaint to Facebook and the pages were taken down.
In today's world of extensive social media interactions, how much should parents share and how much should they withhold? Most parents embrace social networks as a way of keeping in touch with family and friends scattered across the globe, and uploading pictures of their young children. While we shouldn't let paranoia take over our lives, we have to be very careful. Bear the following in mind:
In today's world of extensive social media interactions, how much should parents share and how much should they withhold?
- 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.
Unfortunately, there is no dearth of perverted and pedophilic individuals across the web, hence great caution should be exercised.