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Ashley was stunned to find a photo of her daughter on Facebook. It had been shared by an acquaintance, but not through her: the photo had a Chinese citizen on his profile. He could not understand what it said, but he did know that he had taken over the photo of his child. How is that possible?
Worse was the case of Lindsay, an American blogger who discovered with terror that the image of her 18-month-old son looked like a profile photo of a 'false mother'. A 16-year-old teenager had stolen the photo and changed her son's name and identity. He spoke of the little boy as if he were his. It's a kidnapping, yes. A digital hijacking. And it is the most dangerous trend that exists right now on the internet.
The trend of digital kidnapping or role playing with babies is spreading through social networks in an alarming way. It is not penalized. It consists of stealing the photo of a baby from a social network and appropriating it. You can use it however you want. You can imagine that it is you as a child or that it is your child. You can build a parallel world, a totally made-up profile for it. It can be your son. You can celebrate each of their birthdays digitally. But this game, which apparently may be sinister but harmless, becomes dangerous when the image is used for other purposes.
In most cases, participants in these 'Role playing games with babies' they are children and adolescents. Young girls eager to 'have' a child, even if it is invented, or children who pretend that this little one is their 'virtual doll'.
In some cases, the kidnapped photo of the child is used for 'hypothetical' adoptions. They serve as a hook. Imagine that you have a beautiful baby, and someone takes the photo that you proudly posted on your Facebook wall. In a few minutes your child can appear with other babies for adoption, even if it is false.
Much worse is the case with pedophiles who use this game for their macabre purposes.
This trend, which spreads through networks such as Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, it is found with the hashtag #babyrp, #kidrp, #openrp, #adoptionrp. But they are not the only dangers you will find when uploading photos of your child to the internet. They can also use the child's photo for child pornography, advertising, and even memes ('funny' montages with a photograph). But what can we do?
- Upload photos of your child privately (configure each social network appropriately).
- Never upload photos of your child naked.
- When sharing the photo, choose who you want to share it with.
- So that they cannot steal the photo, you can create a watermark that identifies it.
- Do not upload photos of your child to the internet that can give information about where he lives, or the school he goes to.
- Upload low resolution photos.
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