The Kids For Privacy campaign has identified over 100 hashtags that could be putting children in danger, and aims to help parents be more careful about social media child safety through what they share online.
If it seems like your social media accounts are filling up with pictures of your friends’ babies, then you’re probably not wrong. It turns out that, by the age of two, around 90 per cent of children have a social media presence. While this can be lovely to see, it can also pose risks to your child, which is why a new campaign has been set up to help parents understand more about online privacy.
The ‘Kids For Privacy’ initiative has been created by the Child Rescue Coalition (CRC), a non-profit organisation that fights against child exploitation. As part of its work, the group aims to protect children from the potential dangers of social media. While tools like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can be great for a range of reasons, it’s always worth bearing in mind that they can be used by predators.
When parents share images of their children online, they often accompany them with hashtags like #bathtime, #lovesbeingnude or #cantkeepclothesonhim. These are almost always meant in a fun, jokey way, but the CRC has warned that predators can search for them and find the pictures.
How to help
In order to combat this, Kids For Privacy is encouraging people to post pictures of children with their details obscured by signs reading “privacy please”, then share them using one of the more than 100 problematic hashtags the CRC has identified. By doing this, the organisation hopes it will flood the hashtags with images that will make parents think twice about what they are making public on social media.
If you want to be more careful about social media child safety, but still want to share pictures of your child with loved ones, you can. The CRC isn’t asking for parents to stop altogether, but simply to be a bit more cautious about what they put on the internet. To help them, it has come up with some questions you can ask yourself before posting anything.
These include “why am I sharing this?”, “would I want someone else to share an image like this of me?”, “would I want this image of my child viewed and downloaded by predators on the Dark Web?” and “is this something I want to be part of my child’s digital life?”.
Ultimately, being safe on social media just involves being aware of the potential risks. If you know there is a possibility of predators viewing an image you post on your private social media account, you will be more cautious of what you put there and how you share it. The more you learn, the more careful you can be.