By May Neng Moua
Instagram reigns as one of the most popular apps and fast growing apps among teens and adults. Teens often share too much personal information and everything that they post is public and geotagged. Meaning once the video or post has been geotagged, the trafficker can easily find where you are located at and stalk your every move.
For younger users, Instagram is more important than facebook or twitter since they tend to think that it’s “Old-Fashioned.” Teens need to be more aware of their privacy and security issues. Only about 9% of teenage social media users have concerns about their privacy of their data which isn’t that high.
What teens know about Instagram is that they can bully kids and be unknown meaning that the bully can set up a fake account and attack their target. Instagram contains dirty pictures that’s inappropriate for young teens. They can access Tumblr, Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Twitter without ever leaving Instagram. Teens use filters to make their selfie better than an original photo. Most of all, there are no parental controls in Instagram so teens have less things to worry about. Meaning that their parents aren’t able to monitor what they are doing and who they’re talking to. Letting traffickers see their public profile.
Ceo Pimp vs. Romeo Pimp
Instagram was ranked as the most harmful social media platform when it comes to young people’s mental health. Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the royal society of public health, RSPH, said “Social media has been described as more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol, it’s so ingrained in the lives of young people that it’s no longer possible to ignore it.” Traffickers will message your child using a fake account with a profile picture that seems fit for the child to communicate with. If your child wants to become a model and posts a picture of themselves on Instagram, the trafficker, also known as the CEO pimp, will message your child or comment on their photo using their tactics, tricking your child into making them famous with their “help”.
In 2014, 24% use Instagram and 24% experienced cyber bullying. In 2017, about only 23% of users on Instagram reported to being bullied. Not much has changed over 3 years and that’s not exactly what parents or anybody would want but for the percentages to decline. Cyberbullying can cause the child to be vulnerable and that is where human traffickers come in. They will use that opportunity and “give” them what they want, to fill the voids. The Romeo trafficker also known as the Romeo pimp will most likely be in that position where they will make your child feel loved and cared when really they just want your child as their product and make money for them.
Human Traffickers can now message thousands of people through Instagram! Europol, European Union’s police agency said, “social media and other online technology have not only taken the recruitment and selling process off the streets but allowing traffickers to control victims using remote surveillance.” This will show you how to be safe and be aware of child exploitation and human trafficking. By going through the Instagram help center, choose privacy and safety center, go to “Report something,” click on exploitation. This can help others and you from being targeted by sex traffickers while keeping your profile safe.
I’m just saying…