A colleague saw this comment on Facebook and we felt compelled to share it with our readers on this platform as well.
Here goes the story…
You are perusing through your Facebook page and a pop up notification appears. A guy sends you a friend request. You don’t know him, but he has got an appealing profile picture, so you accept his friend request. It’s coincidentally your baby girl’s first day of 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 to her new school and 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 right here’.
Meanwhile, the mystery guy whose friend request you swiftly 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 –
‘Tanzanian Female aged 5.
Black Hair. Black Eyes.
Not only did you provide a picture of your little girl to a child trafficker, you have 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 is nowhere to be found. Little do you know, your precious baby girl was sold to a 43 years old pedophile before you even stepped foot off campus this morning. Now she is 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 is going to happen to her.
Moral of the story. Please stop adding strangers of your Facebook and all other social media accounts if you are surely going to share your children and family photos – and their locations. Please practice the habit of not posting everything about your life on Facebook – and other social media. Avoid keeping children’s pictures as profile picture.
The convenience of sharing your child photos with friends (and non-friends) through social networking sites and blogs is undeniable. Unfortunately, so are the dangers. Not only can photos be stolen and used by strangers and traffickers, but many photos, especially those taken by phones or devices with GPS technology, contain tags that reveal exactly where the photos were snapped. In other words, if you take a photo of his or her child playing at home and then posts it online, it’s possible for strangers to know exactly where you live.
For comments and / or inquires please call 116 National Child Helpline. This is a toll free service available across all networks in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar. Facebook: Sema Tanzania; Twitter: @SemaTanzania or visit our website: www.sematanzania.org
photo credit: @MwananchiNews