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The dangers of posting your kids on social media

by Gaby Agbulos

Warning: This article discusses the online sexual abuse and exploitation of children.

AT THIS POINT, it’s fairly common to see Family YouTubers or TikTokers, posting content with their kids and doing what one would think is harmless. 

Social media is something that’s become so normal in our day-to-day lives that we often don’t think about what we post anymore. Not just us adults, but kids who have access to it, too. 

However, in 2022, the case of Wren Eleanor on TikTok quickly had parents second-guessing whether or not they should be posting their children on social media. Here’s why.

The Wren Eleanor case

The TikTok account, @wren.eleanor, is a family account run by a woman named Jacquelyn. On her TikTok, she often posts videos of her child Wren Eleanor, and in a short amount of time, the account grew to have over 17 million followers. 

Her content consists of what you’d think is typical of a mommy vlogger: showing her kid’s outfits and food, sharing silly moments, and the like. Again, harmless. 

However, the response to her videos is what people found to be rather worrying. One TikToker, @justlivingmyjesslife, pointed out how certain videos of Wren would have a large amount of saves, such as videos of her in crop tops, or videos of her eating pickles and hotdogs. Often these videos had more saves than her other videos.

It came to the point where, if you searched Wren Eleanor’s name on TikTok, some of the first things to come up were “Wren Eleanor scandalous outfits,” or “Wren Eleanor pickle.” 

She also pointed out the number of men who would leave inappropriate comments on Wren Eleanor’s videos. Though she felt uncomfortable disclosing all of them, one comment she did post was of a man saying about the child: “She’s so mature for her age.” 

Many then started to worry that there were adults who were watching or saving her videos for inappropriate reasons. Others even accused Jacquelyn of purposefully posting suggestive content about Wren Eleanor, and it reached the point where she had to make a TikTok addressing these issues. 

In the video, she explained that after launching an investigation with the FBI, they found no traces of her daughter on any inappropriate websites. TikTok user @bekahday, however, stated that just because her photos are not on any of these websites does not mean that no one has her saved on their phones, computers, or other devices.

In a study done by The New York Times, it was found that the engagements and saves on videos and photos posted by parent-run accounts often come from men, many of whom admit to feeling sexual attraction toward children on their accounts. And with the rampancy of the Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC) in the Philippines, who knows what’s happening any time you’re posting photos or videos of your kids online? 

Better safe than sorry

The sad truth is you’re never going to be able to keep your kid completely safe from all the dangers in the world, but there are a number of precautions that you can take to lessen their exposure to people who may take advantage of them. 

Limiting their access to the internet and social media, or at the very least monitoring them when they do use social media, is a small but vital step in keeping them safe. 

It’s also important to be mindful of what you post online. Think twice about sharing naked photos of your baby, even if they have everything that needs to be covered up, covered up. 

Even videos of your child eating may be innocent to you, but if they were to get into the wrong hands, they may have a completely different meaning altogether. You should also avoid posting your location, especially if you’re still there at the time of posting.

Finally, if you see something suspicious going on, don’t be afraid to report it, especially if you wouldn’t let that slide if it was happening to your child.

Though these measures may seem extensive, the reality is that there are some sick people out there, and they will always be there. If you see something, say something, no matter how small it may seem. 



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