ARKANSAS (KNWA) — It’s something seen daily… posted photos on social media of children. While the posted photos seem innocent, they may actually have unintended and harmful effects, according to Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.
Child predators see summer as a great opportunity to exploit pictures of children they see on the internet. Rutledge said predators will search through popular hashtags including #poolside and #bathtime to find pictures of children. They will then sell or trade the photos with others.
“No Arkansans intend to subject their children to exploitation through the things they post online, but often predators will prowl social media sites in search of pictures featuring children in swimsuits, athletic gear or wearing other formfitting and revealing clothes,” Rutledge said.
She also said she recommends having consent from another child’s parent or guardian before sharing photos on social media.
Those posting photos of children to social media should think twice about what they post. Posts are permanently on the web; even if the person who posted the content deleted it.
Rutledge said she recommends adults monitor their friends’ social media posts to ensure they are not posting photos of loved ones that could be stolen by people with sinister motives and end up in the hands of a child predator. Many social media platforms allow users to submit complaints regarding problematic posts and to request deletion of posts.
Child exploitation complaints may also reported at the Arkansas State Police Child Abuse Hotline at (800) 482-5964.