I had a scare today. Like, seriously something that fortunately wasn’t a HUGE deal, but a freaky wake up call nonetheless; and something that is making me WAY more aware of my world on the Internet and why I’m cracking down on my kids privacy on the blog too.
When I got a notification that some guy liked a picture on my blog’s Facebook page, my first instinct was – AWESOME! Hey! I got a “like!” Liking pictures is a good way to show your support for pages and your friends. My excitement quickly changed when I saw some random guy I didn’t know not only liked an ultrasound photo of little miss when I was pregnant (from 2 years ago I might add) and a Christmas photos of both littles from 2 Christmases ago. I quickly put my mama bear defensive glasses on and got curious. What I found :
- I didn’t know this guy at all.
- Not only did he “like” my blog’s page, but several of my friends photography businesses, mommy blogger fan pages, and even the 3D ultrasound business who performed the u/s he liked among HUNDREDS of other mom blogger and other parenting sites.
- This guy showed no signs on his page of being a parent himself and even looks a little creepy in his picture.
- ALL of his wall is filled with photos he’s sharing of other young kids with captions such as “She is so beautiful” or “I love his smile” and even “Amusing photo!” on pictures of young children potty training (linking back to mommy blogger potty training posts), and even in the bathtub.
What did I do? I immediately banned him from my fan page and got to work contacting every single mom blogger shown on his likes and on his wall along with photographers. I still haven’t gone through all of them yet, but a good amount and have gotten responses from all of them thanking me, saying they’re reporting him, and talking about how scary it is. Not only did I ban him from my page, but I reported him to Facebook too and opted out of blocking him so I could keep an eye on his Facebook profile to be sure my kids don’t show up there. It took everything out of me to not just deactivate my personal FB account and business pages instantly out of pure fear when I first saw this.
I realize there might not be anything Facebook can do, but I’m hoping that if enough people report him, it can prevent him from taking this any further. There are a million things that have gone through my head today, “What if this guy was local and watching our kids?” “What if he had posted pictures of my kids on his wall, what could I do then?” I know Facebook and the Internet in general is a scary world and I firmly believe, if you put something out there, you are handing it to whoever wants to take it, BUT I think Facebook needs to make setting and maintaining privacy settings easier.
I have worked to prevent scary situations like this. As a blogger, I will say you will start seeing less pictures of my kids on here and more private in that sense, but when it comes to photos, I do keep that all private and I only post what I would be okay with getting out if it were to happen. These are my babies. I want to protect them and keep them as close as I possibly again and away from scary eyes. I keep my Instagram and Facebook private and hardly ever post pictures of them on Twitter, because that is public for social media purposes.
Facebook makes that SO HARD TO DO. I can’t count how many times I have had to go back in and reset all of my settings, because they did an update and everything wasn’t private anymore. It’s not even possible to keep newly updated profile pictures or cover photos from being clicked on. Even though my photos are all set to “Friends Only,” people who aren’t my friends can still click and scroll through all of my cover photos.
What if I DO want to share pictures with friends and tag them? Then ALL of their friends who I might not even know can see them, comment, share, like. What I want to know is, WHY!? Doesn’t our privacy and opportunity to control who sees OUR content count for anything? I would rather pay for a service such as Facebook than have lack of control over my life on it.
Facebook isn’t everything. Facebook isn’t meant to be a scary place. I keep my Facebook to stay in contact and share my life with people near and far who I KNOW and care about. We don’t have the luxury of living a drive away from our family. Facebook is the best way for us to all stay in contact and to allow our family and friends to watch our babies grow up and be a part of that.
Why is it so difficult to protect ourselves from creepy people like this guy? And why is it so difficult to get Facebook to contact you back about such a creepy profile? Maybe he isn’t breaking any laws, but anyone who has seen his profile agrees… this is wrong and it’s unfair as a parent we have to be terrified of people like this.
HOW TO BLOCK/BAN SOMEONE ON FACEBOOK
- To block a person (this means you won’t see them showing up anywhere on Facebook and vice versa.) You won’t be able to send or receive messages from the person, look at their profile, nothing. To do this, just click their profile and click on the little star symbol to the top right. Click block/report and then choose your option.
- To ban a person from a fan page. This can get a little tricky if you have a lot of fans (luckily for me, this guy had JUST liked my page so he was on top) You have to click to see all of your likes. Click “Show” in the top right corner of your page. Then the box in the bottom left where it says “Get More Likes”, click “See Likes.” Scroll until you see the person you want to ban and click the “x” next to their name and click to Ban Permanently.
So Facebook…. I want to know WHY. Why do you make scary people so easy to get into our lives? Why is control so hard for us to have over own lives on social media?