Dangerous Hashtags

  • By KJRH Tulsa
  • October 7, 2019

The child rescue coalition aims to protect children from sexual exploitation. They’ve helped law enforcement arrest over 11,000 child predators. They created a list of hashtags, they say, child predators are searching online, giving them an all access pass to your children’s photos.

Gin Cheney is mom to four-year-old, Nathan. She knows that she is the first line of defense in protecting him both in the real world and online. “I’m always worried about if there’s a pedophile out there or some creeper. I don’t want them looking at my kids the wrong way,” Cheney says.

She calls her privacy settings on Facebook ‘extreme,’ limiting who can see her posts to family and friends and skipping the hashtags. “I’ve found that it brings more attention to that photo, profile, or information that you’re handing out to everyone,” Cheney says.

Carly Yoost, CEO of The Child Rescue Coalition, praises Cheney’s ‘pause before you post’ approach. Avoiding hashtags like #pottytraining101, #kidsbathtime or #nakedtoddler. Yoost says, “It could be over-exposing our children online and also making them searchable for predators to find these pictures.”

The CRC uses technology that helps them identify computers that are in possession of illegal child abuse material. “In just the state of Nevada, and just the last year alone, we’ve seen 479 targets,” Yoost says. But let’s face it, it’s fun for parents to show off their cute kid.

According to CRC, the average parent posts 1500 photos of their child before the age of five. The organization asks moms and dad to think carefully about privacy settings before you hit send.

Yoost says, “Is there information in these pictures or in the messages that I’m posting that is over-exposing information about where they go to school, where they live, or their identity which can lead predators.”

Another chilling fact from The Child Rescue Coalition, they say if someone is online trading illegal materials of children, 85% of them have already been a hands-on abuser of children in real life.

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