Horrifying Facebook warnings


I opened my facebook page today to see this horrifying warning from a well-wisher.

“A guy sends you a friend request. You don’t know him, but he’s got a cute profile picture, so you accept.

It’s baby girl’s first day at school! She looks so cute in her new outfit you just have to take a picture and put it on Facebook so all your friends and family can see. You’re so excited dropping her off that you “check in” to her school on Facebook saying “I can’t believe how big she’s gotten. Time sure flies. One proud momma/daddy right here!”…

Meanwhile, the mystery guy whose friend request you hurriedly accepted earlier this morning is saving that picture you posted of your daughter in her cute new outfit to his phone and texting it to 60 other grown men across the world with the caption “Caucasian female. Age 5. Brown hair, green eyes. $2,500.” Not only did you provide a picture of your little girl to a child trafficker, you’ve handed him the name and exact location of her school on a silver cyber platter. You go to pick her up at 3:00 this afternoon, but she’s nowhere to be found. Little do you know, your precious baby girl was sold to a 43-year-old pedophile before you even stepped foot off campus this morning, and now she’s on her way to South Africa with a bag over her head, confused, terrified and crying because a man she’s never seen before picked her up from school, and now she doesn’t know where her parents are, where she’s going, or what’s gonna happen to her.

STOP ADDING STRANGERS ON FACEBOOK

Share it with as many you know & avoid keeping your children in profile pics on‪#‎Facebook‬, ‪#‎Whatsapp‬ etc.”

I am not saying that the statement in capitals in the end is wrong. “Stop adding strangers on facebook”. But to justify this statement, why would you attach it to such a far-fetched, improbable and horrifying story!

I don’t think child traffickers would operate randomly picking up children of unsuspecting people they add on facebook! That would hardly be the case! And in most cases, the information they get is from people close to the family like domestic helps or drivers or street vendors near the residence or cruel relatives! Someone known to the family. Not to mention the stupid assumption that women add men who have cute profile pictures.

Do you think that people involved in this terrible business would pick up random children from their facebook walls!? Or are we giving them ideas?

Does this warning make sense? I tried looking up some incident on the basis of which, this message was made, which might give it some amount of credibility! But I couldn’t find anything to that effect.

I was very disturbed on reading the post because it is horrifying, to say the least. That your child could be a victim of trafficking because you post his / her picture on facebook?

Don’t get me wrong. I do agree with the message that you need to be careful of who you interact with on social media and what amount of personal information you share with your internet-friends, but I have a problem with the way this message is conveyed!

Or may be I am just a panicky woman!

What do you think?

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23 thoughts on “Horrifying Facebook warnings

  1. trablog says:

    I am not sure about this. Isnt it better for someone who is determined to do such a heinous act to wait outside of some school rather than checking facebook profiles and requesting for friendship and all that stuff?! Its just my feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Soumya Chakraborty says:

    Why on earth would a mother accept a random friend request of a cute looking “stranger” guy? (Feminists planning to stab me for making this statement, please double check the quotes before you drive the blade) The premise of the warning seems to be an introduction to a comic, given the slightest horse sense which a “lady and mother” would have while social networking!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Kitty Vindaloo says:

    As a photographer, my fear is less of kidnapping than seeing your child’s face photoshopped on pornographic materials. I am very careful of what I put on FB and I tell my clients that I prefer not to post pictures of a session on FB, even if I loose potential future clients. On my professional page, I post NO photos of minors where they can be recognized.
    However, since most pictures taken with a smartphone are geotagged, it is easy to find out what your location, including your home, your workplace, your kids’ school. Once they have your exact home address and know you have a kid, they will wait for you to leave the house and rob you. Those are not extreme scenarios. I find that my friends, and “friends of friends” in India are more careless with this sensitive information.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A regular Indian girl! says:

      Hi. I understand your point of view perfectly. I do understand the value or the risk of putting up personal information on social media. And I guard it very well. Sure, some people may not be as cautious about posting information on social networks.

      I only had reservations over the manner in which this message has been passed on. Because as per what I have read, child traffickers don’t want to get into a hassle and kidnap / take away children of people who are well-placed in life, both economically and socially. Hence, as anawnimiss commented, they would be picking up street children or children from the slums, where the chances of social uproar over such kidnapping is less.

      I understand your concerns too. Like you said, getting your geographical location is not very difficult today. And surely, we need to guard our children with all our might.

      May be this outburst was because I got very paranoid on reading that post initially. But what you are saying is true too. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. anawnimiss says:

    Quite frankly, I think it’s far easier to kidnap and sell street urchins. These kids have no homes, and more often than not, their parents are willing to sell them.
    As for adding strangers to FB, I don’t know who does that. None of the women I know would add someone just because they’re “cute”. Of course pictures and other information can be misused, but that’s not just restricted to Facebook!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. story teller says:

    So true, I got a similar message saying that some woman committed suicide cause she added strangers and her picture was misused. Its obnoxious at the least to have something like this happen, though I do admit that there have been misuse of pictures but that is in extreme cases.

    Like

  6. IndianDrifter says:

    well honestly.. With the kind of cheap crowd on facebook due to easily available mobile access it’s best to avoid adding strangers.

    I block any strange requests and avoid posting public posts and keep them strictly friends and family.

    Like

  7. Saya says:

    damn…firstly even if we don’t add strangers, our privacy settings may allowed our pics to be seen by strangers. So adding people won’t make a difference in that case. And I don’t think it is so easy to kidnap any child from a well to do family who look after the child’s welfare closely. The children who are most vulnerable are those I believe, who are neglected by family due to circumstances either out of the hands of parents or otherwise.

    Liked by 3 people

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