WARNING: Is Instagram Dangerous?

11 06 2012

I am the Mum of two children (16 and 12), so when my daughter badgered me to join Instagram and follow her I thought “can’t hurt at least I’ll know what she’s doing”. So I joined and I followed a few people who followed me and I posted pictures of family and things that interested me such as macro shots of flowers. My son joined it too and is mainly concerned about having more followers than my daughter than anything else. This is where the danger starts to creep in though because there is no restriction on age for one and I have seen children as young as 7 on it posting pictures and also the “followback” mentality that is pushed means they turn that little button green without looking to see if the posts are suitable.

So, are they suitable???? In some cases NOT AT ALL! There are two things that are seriously worrying me; 1 – there are very young girls posting provocative and revealing pictures of themselves for ANYONE who cares to follow them to see! And 2 – there are “users” who are posting content that is pretty much soft porn without any regard for who is following them!

I found myself being followed by “an unknown” let’s say. When I looked at their profile they were only following 6 people – me, my son, my daughter and 3 of these “soft porn” users. Needless to say “WARNING!!!” flashed in my head. This person had no profile details or picture, hadn’t posted any pictures themselves so you couldn’t tell who they were and at that time no followers.

I made my children “block” the user as I was very concerned but I kept an eye on it for the next two days. This user continued to follow other “soft porn” as well as other young girls. Worryingly, 2 of those young girls followed back!

I myself blocked them too only to find out an hour or so later, quite by chance, that this user was actually the 12yr old son of a friend of mine.

I am appalled that there are many news reports about the “over sexualisation of our children” yet this can blatantly be happening without any control on Instagram! Not only are girls (and possibly boys I haven’t looked to see) posting sexualised images of themselves for “anyone” to see but people such as “bits and biddies”are purposely posting images unsuitable for children!

Now “boys will be boys” I know but there is something very different to years ago when they would “get a crafty look at a top shelf magazine” to the blatant sexual images they can download on their phone in secrecy!

Is it me, or are people now more concerned about “how much fame or followers” they can get than what is actually right or wrong?

So come on Instagram, sort it out! I for one love using Instagram to see the world through the eyes of others, see places I will never otherwise get to see but there are those degrading the spirit of it’s origin not to mention taking advantage of the innocence of youth. The world is an expansive technological one but it must remain a moral one or the next generation will become a lost one!


Actions

Information

3 responses

12 06 2012
The NSPCC

If you’re ever concerned about images of children that are being shared on this network please report them to Instagram http://help.instagram.com/customer/portal/articles/95788-reporting-a-photo
and go to http://www.iwf.org.uk for more advice. You can also contact http://www.ceop.gov.uk if you think a child is being groomed or abused online. And you can call NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 for advice.
Thanks
Adrian
NSPCC

12 06 2012
nascuropathy

I have already sent messages to Instagram asking why there is no age or content control but have yet to receive a reply! My friend’s 12yr old son has been able to follow what equates to “soft porn” profiles without any restriction. One of these profiles turns out to be a “boy who wants to be a girl” who’s most recent posting is a picture of himself wearing nothing but a see-through skirt! Is this really something suitable for “anyone” of “any age” to follow? Still no reply from Instagram yet!

4 04 2013
PsyGeek

I myself use Instagram and like it very much but I completely agree with you.
Not only is it dangerous for kids and teenagers but it seems like young adults almost use it as a “modeling/soft porn” portfolio posting half naked pictures of themselves. To that effect, what example is therefore set for the young ones? In my opinion, posting provocative and sexual images of oneself for “follows” and “likes” is degrading to oneself and Instagram should be better monitoring this to keep it safe and decent for the rest.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 709 other followers

%d bloggers like this: