Instagram is an extremely popular social media network for both parents and kids, but sadly, it’s not as “safe” as most think. Recent updates allow users to send disappearing pictures and messages like SnapChat does, and what’s more, despite filters in place, Instagram has a TON of pornographic pictures that any user (such as your CHILD) for instance, can find in just seconds.
The reality is, with 700 million DAILY users, porn appears on Instagram MUCH faster than the app’s administrators can ban and delete it. And making your child’s account private may shield them from other’s eyes, but it will do nothing to stop them from easily, even accidentally, finding porn on Instagram.
And! There’s currently no way for you to get your child’s search history on Instagram, even if you monitor their account, unless you purchase an outside app like BARK to do so, which I would recommend you do.
The advocacy group Protect Young Minds outlines in the video above how it takes just six clicks to find porn on Instagram, a process that takes less than 5 seconds. I don’t want to make this a how-to article for porn seekers, so I will not reiterate the step-by-step, but the bottom line is, if your child searches the right hashtags (many of which we wouldn’t automatically associate with porn, like #hot or even the fire emoji), he or she will see porn within seconds. And as studies have shown, one look typically leads to another and another and another.
Another *fun* feature of Instagram that Protect Young Minds exposes is that through the app, you can get to UNFILTERED searching of Google, Yahoo, and Bing through the Instagram blog – so if you go there from within the app, you can search the internetz for porn without the filters you’ve put on your home internet taking effect. More details on that are available for parents here.
Moms and dads, we are raising kids in an age more full of pornography than any other. Statistics show that most kids are being exposed to porn by they time they are tweens. Sexting and porn viewing are now “normal” for teens. But statistics also show that viewing porn has disastrous effects on one’s ability to have healthy adult sexual relationships.
It’s hard to think about how something that your child sees at age 11 may have terrible consequences in his or her marriage 20 years from now, but that’s the reality when we are talking about pornography.
Sometimes when I write articles like this, I’m accused of “fearmongering” and trying to incite a panic. But parents, let me be clear: PORN in a national health crisis, really a global one. And the people most harmed by it right now are our kids: yours and mine. So I’m not going to stop trying top convince you how VERY vital and important it is to BE ON GUARD against it…even if that means being the mean parent whose kid doesn’t have an Instagram.