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These Hashtags Could Put Your Child In Danger On Social Media

A new PSA campaign warns parents about the dangers of oversharing photos of kids across social media.

These Hashtags Could Put Your Child In Danger On Social Media

Thanks to Cambridge Analytica, people have become hyperaware of the issues related to their online privacy, particularly within Facebook and other social networks. But while the recent news cycle so far has focused concerns around our own personal data, the Child Rescue Coalition (CRC) is taking the opportunity to remind us that publicly sharing photos of your small children comes with its own set of risks.

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The nonprofit organization, which works with law enforcement to track, arrest and prosecute child predators, is launching its @KidsForPrivacy campaign. Created with agency David&Goliath, the project is highlighting more than 100 hashtags on Instagram–including #pottytraining and #bathtime–that it says overexposes kids, with pictures of obscured kids holding “Privacy Please” signs.

David&Goliath founder and chairman David Angelo says they wanted to leverage the platform of Child Abuse Prevention month in April to raise awareness about the implications of parents oversharing intimate moments of their children’s life on social media and the reality about online predators. “What seems like innocent moments that parents are sharing, can fall into the hands of pedophiles on the dark web,” says Angelo.

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.

Angelo says the recent data breach news, whether it’s Facebook or Equifax, provides the perfect moment to start this conversation.

“In the minds of the masses, the collective thought is that these large institutions have the responsibility to keep peoples’ data and information safe, but the second piece is what can individuals do to help protect themselves and their families,” he says. “The campaign is meant to really address the second piece and drive awareness about the problem and make people think twice before they post. As for the social media platforms, we hope they take notice of the campaign and do more to make privacy settings easy to navigate and take additional measures to partner with organizations like CRC to make the internet a safer place.”

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About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.

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