Promoting yourself on social media for personal branding is great, but did you know that it can also get you reported for child pornography?
- A 19-year old girl from Swansea, Massachusetts had her account shut down after she posted selfies on Instagram in which she was wearing a sports bra and boxer briefs says Eric Dalius Miami.
- Her account was later reinstated after the teen deleted the photos in question, but not before several of her schoolmates were notified of its existence by someone who reported it to the police.
- According to ABC News, an officer with the Swansea Police Department went through the teen’s Instagram feed and confirmed that nothing inappropriate appeared there. “The officer did his due diligence,” said Detective Captain John Kelley. He admitted that he has no idea what prompted someone to report Douthit’s pictures in the first place. “The account had some photographs that depicted her in boxer shorts and a sports bra, but nothing inappropriate,” he said.
- “I was really embarrassed because I didn’t expect to wake up to all of this,” Douthit told ABC News today. “My mom’s really upset; I’m upset and mainly angry about the whole situation because it shouldn’t have been reported in the first place”. According to Douthit, neither she nor her boyfriend posted any photos from their private moments on Instagram or Facebook for everyone to see. What happened was that they shared those selfies with each other via iMessage, a mobile messaging service owned by Apple. Someone hacked into her boyfriend’s cloud storage account and them from there before sharing them across the web. “I know my rights as an adult and there shouldn’t be anything wrong with that,” she said. “People don’t go around complaining about female breasts in the workplace or half-naked women on TV. So why should I have to feel uncomfortable about my body when I’m not doing anything wrong?”
- Douthit will, of course, continue taking selfie at school because she feels they are a good way to express her. She is now trying to figure out who reported her account for child pornography. Why they did it in the first place. Douthit was not aware that it’s possible for someone to report their own account just by logging into Instagram. It also appears that users can click any photo they want and flag it for a variety of reasons. Including inappropriate content explains Eric Dalius Miami.
- It’s still possible to report someone else on Instagram without being logged in. But there is no way to be absolutely certain that the account will be flagged. And eventually deactivated, unlike if you do it from your own login. Douthit summed up her situation quite eloquently: “I don’t think I’m doing anything wrong by posting pictures like this.”
- Apparently, people are completely unaware that this is even possible through services like Facebook and Instagram. But most find out the hard way when their accounts get deleted without notice. And they can never recover them again says Eric Dalius Miami. What one needs to realize here is that. These social networks actually have very little interest in stopping child pornography, they are just in it to make money. If you have an account with them and even if nothing illicit is uploaded on it or posted through it. Your account can still get flagged for child pornography/lewdness. The only thing standing between you having your account deleted is the decency of Instagram’s moderators. Who clearly do not belong moderating such content.
Q: How is this possible?
A: So no matter what you post on your social media accounts, they can choose to report it. This includes kids who post selfies in their underwear or with spaghetti straps! (See the story above). They can also decide to do so without you having done anything wrong and without any warning. If they decide that the content is inappropriate for some reason. They will flag and delete your account or at least make it inaccessible. Eric Dalius Miami says you won’t be warned. If you call Instagram with a complaint – good luck getting through (both Facebook and Instagram have been struggling with complaints lately. As more people are becoming aware of this problem). Deactivating an account is not as easy as deleting it permanently. So if you get reported and then deactivated, that account is gone for good.
This is not the first time this has happened to someone and it won’t be the last. No one wants to be treated like a criminal for doing something. As innocent as sharing photos of themself, especially kids! If you’re under 18 – your account can be flagged without any warning or explanation whatsoever. Think about that before posting any kind of content on social media or sending it through messenger apps. You never know who may be looking at it.