There’s a very creepy trend on the internet that will for sure make you think twice before posting a picture of your child online.
The trend is baby role playing and it’s as weird as it sounds. Fast Company reported on the trend in September and called it “the creepiest new corner of instagram.” Fast Company discussed the strange world of role players talking in baby talk and writing out scenarios of affection and discipline, all to images of babies and children posted on social media sites.
Local Tampa Bay CBS affiliate, 10 News, reported that a family in Jacksonville Florida, discovered that pictures of their baby (who is sick with a rare medical condition) had been stolen from social media and used on a roleplay account. What made the theft sting the most though, was that their daughter’s pictures were stolen from a fundraising website and facebook page for their daughter’s illness.
The family reported the photos in order to have them taken down, and succeeded in shutting down the Facebook page using their child’s photos, as well as others’, for baby role playing. In addition there was a Change.org petition drafted up to ban baby role playing accounts, but the petition failed to get the number of required signatures
Writers at Metro refused to believe that such an strange community of people existed on the internet, but after some investigation, Metro found an active community of baby role players. These anonymous accounts, sometimes dedicated exclusively to one infant or child character, had active followers engaging in role play. Most of the accounts use hashtags like #babyrp, #kidrp, or #adoptionrp all of which bring up countless photos of children.
In order to protect yourself and your children, try to avoid posting images of your child online. If you do decided to post pictures of your children, ensure that your social media accounts have proper privacy settings and that you only connect online with those who you trust.