I realize that posting pictures on the Internet makes them liable to be stolen or mis-used. This is a risk I, somewhat, willingly took on the first time I decided to post a picture of Avery on the internet. I never much minded the “risk” because through Instagram and blogging I have met some awesome people and an amazing community of moms..
There’s a concept on Instagram called “baby role-playing”. Where users find pictures of babies and post them, with a false identity, saying they are up for adoption. A role-player then “adopts” that baby and posts any pictures of that baby that they have or can find- and other users re-post, making up a story as it goes along.
Long story short, Instagram has a sick corner or people playing a really disturbing game with pictures of other peoples children.
Why am I talking about this?
I found two pictures of my Avery on one of these role-playing accounts this evening.
A mere two pictures- on the nearly 30,000 pictures posted under this baby role-playing hashtag.
It feels terrible.
An account posted old pictures of Avery, with a fake name, saying she was up for adoption and needed a home. From there a couple accounts commented saying they would adopt her. Unfortunately the accounts that commented are private, so I have no idea if they are re posting these pictures of my baby. I certainly hope not, the two pictures that are already up are bad enough.
I sent Facebook and Instagram on a hail storm, with all my friends, family even friends of friends reporting this page. And any other pages that are attached to this baby role playing “game”.
It’s a sick concept that someone is mis-using my pictures of my child. And there’s not much I can do about it. I’m upset and furious.
I don’t want to drop being a part of the internet. I don’t want to miss out on the parts of the internet that have benefited my life, for a some bad people. Regardless of what my immediate-mama-bear-instincts tell me, I know someone stealing pictures of Avery doesn’t put her in any immediate danger. I do feel like I’m in a new place with a lot of awareness and vulnerability. But I will not stop what I’m doing.
All I want to do at this point is raise awareness about this dark part of the internet.