Mom Poses As An 11-Year-Old Girl Online For A Week, And What She Learned Was Sickening

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Whether we want to believe it or not, online predators are a real threat.

Do you know what your kids are doing online? Who they are talking to? Do you know the potential dangers they are facing when they post on popular social media sites like Instagram and TikTok

One 37-year-old mother decided to find out. And the results? They are absolutely sickening.

In an article written for Medium, Sloane Ryan (not her real name) outlines her experience while posing as 11-year-old Bailey on Instagram.

Ryan runs the Special Projects Team at Bark, a child monitoring app for parents and schools. The company uses AI to monitor text messages, emails, and various social media platforms for signs of cyberbullying, depression, online predators and adult content, and alerts parents and schools when children are threatened.

The team of tech savvy individuals, which also includes a lawyer and former military personnel, set up fake accounts to demonstrate to parents what can happen online. And what can happen? Will make you want to grab your kids and hightail it on out to the middle of nowhere. With no internet. No cell phones. And no scary people.

Over the course of one week, over 52 men reached out to an 11-year-old girl. And the messages will make your stomach turn. 

With the help of clothing, hair, lighting, and photo editing, Ryan transformed from a 37-year-old woman to Bailey, a fictitious 11-year-old girl. A girl. Not nearly close to being a woman. An 11-year-old child, like yours or mine, who likes glitter nail polish, hoodies, and wears scrunchies on her wrist

Ryan writes:

The majority of 11-year-olds are still prepubescent. Menstruation hasn’t started, and they’re generally not yet wearing bras that are categorized by letter-and-number sizes. Their hobbies and interests vary, but largely, they’re not thinking about sexual relationships or sex organs or sex at all.
But their predators are.

And for the predators that found Bailey within seconds of her photo being posted on Instagram? Sex is ALL that they were thinking about.

The picture posted to Instagram was “a generic, innocuous selfie of Bailey with an ear-to-ear smile”. It was captioned

v excitedd to see my friends this weekend at carly’s party! Ilysm!!” 

followed by a string of emojis and hashtag #friends.

Almost immediately, Bailey has three new requests for conversations. They all start the same way. Telling her she’s beautiful, wondering how long she has been a model, if she has a boyfriend. But they quickly escalate from PG to R-Rated in mere moments.

Photo Credit: Medium

Within 5 minutes @ XXXastrolifer is sending Bailey a video of himself masturbating. Another instagrammer, @ XXXthisguy66, is talking blow jobs and sex, sending pictures of his erect penis, and requesting naked photos back.

Ryan writes:

By the end of two-and-a-half hours, I’ve had seven video calls, ignored another two dozen of them, text-chatted with 17 men (some who had messaged her before, gearing back up in hopes for more interaction), and seen the genitalia of 11 of those. I’ve also fielded (and subsequently denied) multiple requests for above-the-waist nudity (in spite of being clear that Bailey’s breasts have not yet developed) and below-the-waist nudity.

And if this isn’t enough to make you want to throw all your devices into a dumpster fire and burn it all to ashes, I don’t know what is. 

While it’s easy to bury our heads in the sand and say articles like these are fearmongering at their finest, statistics don’t lie.

The National Center For Missing And Exploited Children received more than 10.2 million reports of child sexual exploitation in 2017. One in 5 U.S teenagers have been victims of unwanted sexual solicitations online.

In addition, the Centre for Cyber Safety and Education conducted a study of grade 4 – 8 students internet usage. These are kids ranging in age from 9 years old to 14 years old. They found that 40% of the kids connected or chatted online with a stranger. 

And these online predators aren’t just targeting kids on social media apps like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. They are also using popular messenger apps and gaming sites and even EMAIL.

As much as parents may not want to think about this happening to our own children, this is the reality of living in a digital world. And we need to arm ourselves with knowledge so that we can better protect our children.

This CAN happen. To anyone. We owe it to our kids to recognize the dangers that are lurking behind the computer screen and equip our kids with the weapons to fight against it.

Parents need to be engaged with what our kids are doing online.

We need to follow their accounts. We have to be vigilant.

It is our responsibility to educate ourselves and our children on what measures need to be taken to keep them safe. Keep their accounts private. Do not respond to messages from strangers. If they do receive a message from a stranger? Let your kids know that they can tell you. 

Will this happen to your child? My child? I pray it doesn’t. But the hard cold reality is that it  absolutely could.

 

17 COMMENTS

  1. That’s scary… Why not create a fake profile like a 52 year old man post fake picture but use the site as kids own… and inform family/friends. Maybe this will protect the kids disguising them behind the mask… trick predators they way they try to trick kids…

  2. The first time I let my, now adult daughter, have an email account ( before Facebook was a thing), we went over the rules ” do not divulge personal information “; the next week we sat down together and went through her account……she literally emailed her Disney star staying her first and last name, her birth date AND her address and phone number!
    You think you’re getting through but they are just too young to comprehend.

  3. This is absolutely sickening! My question is how do You report predators like this if you come across them on your child’s page? The local police? I’ve seen a ton of articles like this warning of the dangers but they never tell you what steps to take to make sure these sick men get charged. A follow up article on how to report and file charges on internet predators would be great!

    • When I was a teenager some guy some how turned on my camera and was talking to me whenever I would click somewhere to type. He told me he liked my smile and told me to lift up my top. I told my mom and we went to the police station right away. We made the report and they took down what I said, but they pretty much said there’s nothing we can do about it. Hopefully they have more advanced ways of handling these types of situations nowadays.

  4. When my girls were teens we dealt with them talking to strangers online. They refused to accept what I was trying to get them to understand so I had to take phones away until they were old enough to deal with their bad choices. Some kids really just don’t want to get it and believe they know better than adults what is OK and what is not. We have one child at home left to raise and he has a Gabb wireless phone made for kids (wish I had one back when my girls were teens). It can only talk and txt and cannot even send pics so no dirty photo’s….it looks like a smart phone but its really a dumb phone. Its not even online and you cannot download apps. His only internet access is our home computer where I have Net Nanny protecting him from all this junk. I don’t care what other people think about over protection. It is my job to protect them until they are 18 and to educate them as long as they will allow it. When he is old enough to pay for his own smart phone and I feel he’s old enough to handle it (Who knows, it may happen before the age of 18), then he will be allowed to have one. Until then we’ll stick with Gabb and Net Nanny for his protection. My oldest 2 and grown and still do dumb stuff with their social media accounts but they are old enough to make those choices now.

    • I totally agree with you. I’m rasing a 13 year old boy. ( they can be victims just like girls too) I will have to look up this kid phone you are talking about I hope I can find it in my area. Also the net nanny.
      Thank you for sharing.

  5. I have all my 14-year-old’s social media signed up to me so I can access it anytime. Besides my work e-mail name getting changed to Sugar Pop Sparkle once, it has worked out well. I pay close attention and use it all as an opportunity to teach. When someone gets “creepy” with her she blocks it immediately (her own rule) and it appears many of them are from out of the country. It is scary because so many at this young age are vulnerable and seeking attention. Sadly, there are a lot of boys my daughter’s age and ones she knows or knows of that have been disrespectful to her as a female. At her school, it is so common for a boy to ask for “nudes,” and many of the girls will send them, and they get shared. And she talks about even at school the boys have rude comments about her body, whether or not she is “thicc” or asking their buddies in front of her and others if they are a boob or butt man. She tells me stories about friends of hers in “toxic” relationships because the guys plain manipulate them, say nasty things to them, and are talking to other girls getting personal. And not just the boys behaving badly, many of the girls are doing the same.

  6. Why is your 11 year old child online? Even 13 year olds are required to have adult supervision. Take personal responsibility for raising your children.

  7. It’s not just targeting girls. My son is a teen now, and we are very careful to screen his profiles. At one point he was on a role play server in Discord, and that place was a hotbed for adults preying on adolescents and teens. (Had him leave that server and watch more closely his other servers.)
    Something to keep in mind though is that a lot of the time, it’s so dangerous because they, the teens, buy into the attention they are getting. So first bit of advice, build a strong relationship with your kids to start with.
    Communicate with them why it is important. Share with them the articles and stories from reputable sources that show what can happen. Otherwise it just is a bunch of parental hype that goes in one ear and out the other. My son knows that we are not screening his accounts to cut into his fun, but to make sure we are able to catch anything odd, or potentially dangerous that he did not notice as a red flag.

  8. Hard Rock Nick – 42 year old man grooming teens on Insta and TicTok
    The social media platforms are doing nothing about this predator . If you see this name or profile amongst your kids DMs please please report

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