I-Team investigation: Seedier side of Facebook - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

I-Team investigation: Seedier side of Facebook

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TOLEDO, Ohio -

Your children could be a lot closer to porn on the internet than you think.  That's what the 13abc I-team has been looking into and they found what's really going on when it comes to Facebook.  The I-Team has uncovered racy stuff at a place where your kids have total access. 

Facebook was designed as the original social network;  keeping up with old college roommates, seeing family pictures from all over the country.  Somewhere in between all those good things, came a seedier side.  A side some don't even realize is out there.

The 13abc I-Team found a page a page called Self Shots.  It might seem harmless; people taking pictures of themselves and posting them online.  But the full picture is more than just a flattering face. 

"I didn't notice it until some of my friends on Facebook were actually ‘liking' this stuff and my jaw dropped," said Katie Laplante.

When the Laplante, 18, saw these "likes" popping up on her timeline she was stunned. 

"It's just surprising all of the people who post these pornographic pictures on there and it just doesn't make sense cause there's a lot of little kids on there that are old enough to have one for some parents," said Laplante.

The Self Shots page started in April and the I-team found in just that 8 month period, 53 risqué pictures were posted for anyone to see.  It's certainly not something most parents would want their kids to see.  

"You get out to self shots and then once you're there you might get linked somewhere else.  And so it's one thing after another,."  Said Perrysburg police detective sergeant Patrick Jones.

Jones investigates cyber crimes and he's discovered adults asking young girls to pose naked on webcams, al through facebook.

"Everything starts out with good intentions.  But there are bad people out there that will exploit that," said detective Jones.  "With facebook they police it to an extent.  But let's face it with close to a billion users you can't police it all the time.    And so no one checks to verify how old you are." 

"I'm amazed at how quickly we got to that point and how quickly the kids are able to get to those things and find out how to get to them," said Woodward High School instructor Steve Lark. 

Lark works with kids each day, kids using Facebook.  He says solutions lie with parents.  Start with passwords. 

"I think the parents need to talk to the kids about why they need that information," said Lark.

Parents need to tell their child that mom and dad get their facebook password or they don't get access to it.  No password, no Facebook. 

"If they just go in and get it from them, the kids are going to be apprehensive and they may just change their passcode.  But if the parents communicate with the kids what they need to do and why they're doing it, I think the kids might be a little more receptive to these parents being out there," said Lark. 

Parents if you're not on Facebook, you need to join.  Friend your child.  See what's out there, what they like, what they're seeing.  Experts also remind you to be a good facebook example.

"I think it's really important that the parents step up and have an active role in the technology and their children's lives," said detective Jones. 

Check out security and privacy settings.  This can help block people and make sure your child can only link to secure sites.  But beware nothing the 13abc I-Team  found totally blocks your kids from seeing at least some of the racy images. 

"If they want to make their own porn site page they should do that, not on put it facebook because it's a social media site, not a porn page," said Laplante. 

Parents: Check out this manual for more information on Facebook safety.


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