These Are the Hashtags That Could Be Putting Your Child at Risk

Have you used any of these? Time to edit those posts.

By: Amanda Mushro
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Parent taking photo of a baby with smartphone. Adorable newborn child taking foot in mouth. sucking feet. Digital family memories

Photo by: romrodinka

romrodinka

When you snap a cute or hilarious picture of your kids, it can be hard to not share it on social media. After all, look at those adorable faces! Clearly the world needs to see those sweet smiles. As a mom who takes way too many pictures of her kids and often shares them online, I know how easy it can be to upload and wait for all the likes and sweet comments from friends and family to come rolling in. While we know there can be dangers of posting pictures and information about our kids online, experts say there are some hashtags you should never use when you are posting pictures of your kids.

According to the Child Rescue Coalition (CRC), which is an organization that aims to protect all children from sexual exploitation, parents may think these hashtags are harmless, but you could be putting your child in danger.

One of the most dangerous is #modelingchild, or something that is meant to be funny like #cantkeepclothesonhim. However, the CRC says #bathtimefun, #toddlerbikini or #skinnybabybooty can put your child at risk as well.

"To a normal person and normal friends, a picture on the beach that's cute to us might be seen very differently by predators," Carly Yoost, CEO and Founder of CRC told Good Morning America. "Child predators not only use the Internet to distribute pornography, but also to stalk children, share information, and trade tips and techniques on how to seduce and lure them into sexual encounters."

According to the CRC, research shows that by the age of two, 90 percent of children already have a presence on social media because of their parents and family members sharing their pictures online. They suggest parents learn how to check their privacy settings on all of their social media accounts so they know who is actually looking at pictures of their kids. They also want parents to ask a few questions before they post a picture of their child online.

  • 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?
  • Is this something I want to be part of my child’s digital life?

Yoost says the goal of CRC is not to scare parents into never posting pictures of their kids online, but to help parents think about sharing pictures and information more wisely.