Instagram is for Creeps!

The majority of us who are not living under rocks are in touch with smartphones. With these wonderful devices we are capable of some wonderful, yet terrifying things. One popular app that I too will say is a guilty pleasure of mine is Instagram. “What is Instagram?” I doubt you are asking, well let me explain it to you. Instagram is a form of social media through pictures. It’s like an online photo album of our own, where we can edit and upload pictures of our choosing. On this app are pictures that include: selfies, food pics, and group outings in the dungeons of fraternity houses. Sounds great right? Well according to some people, not so much.

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Maybe we should define “creepy” first. I personally see it as a synonym with the word “nosy.” To be a creep to me would mean you enjoy spending your free time searching through other people’s information, in this case pictures. The online definition is a little bit more specific. Creepy: “causing an unpleasant feeling of fear or unease.”

 

In this frightening, but completely believable article one mother claims pictures of her infant were STOLEN and then used to portray the child of someone else. Who do you call? The police? Or the copyright police? Not sure.  Jenny claims she reached out to Instagram, and got an anything but helpful response from them. I believe it’s hard to be mad at a corporation that deals with millions of users daily.

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What Instagram has shown me is that as a society we love doing creepy things, and knowing what everyone else is doing! Is that a bad thing? I guess not since everyone seems to be in on it. When mothers such as Jenny complain about the usage of her infant’s picture, who is really to blame? Of course it is strange that anyone would want to steal the pictures of an infant they do not know and claim the child as their own, but we also have to take into account what we are putting out on the internet for strangers to see. Clearly there is a lack of privacy issue, but most users are well aware of this blurred line between what is “private” and what isn’t.

Most of the major role players are anonymous, so it’s not clear who they are or how to reach them. But those who do reveal themselves are almost always teenage girls. Oftentimes, tween and teen role players like these come from a broken home, where their parents are either divorced or the child has been abused, says psychiatrist Gail Saltz. “The idea that an adolescent can create an identity online and take advantage of that anonymity does not surprise me,” says Saltz, author of Anatomy of a Secret Life: The Psychology of Living a Secret Life.

Scrolling through my Instagram’s newsfeed I see people upload baby pictures all the time captions including cries of how they want their nonexistent child to be “that cute.” Or fake Instagram pages of various people. It brings up the question, where do we draw the line of ethics between what is okay to upload, and what isn’t?

I’m curious what everyone’s take is on social media, considering just about all of us seem to use it in some sort of fashion. Are you cautious about what you post? Or do you feel safe enough where you’re items are private.

 

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19 thoughts on “Instagram is for Creeps!

  1. That is so odd that people are “adopting” these internet children. I don’t know which was to go with it. If I was the parent, I wouldn’t be happy having my pictures thrown out there for others use (even though I can’t foresee a real issue). The idea of accusing people of kidnapping is just crazy though. I’m completely open to ideas of why it would be problematic because Im on the fence.
    Looking at some of the people doing it though I could possibly be therapeutic? I mean, the girls adopting online may be working out home issues via this. The concept of having something within their control may help them get passed some of their real life problems. I would think there could be other avenues to do this but hey, different strokes.

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  2. I think that this post focuses on two very important, very disturbing and very different topics. First of all, privacy.. when you post something anybody can do whatever they want with it. We all know that, yet were shocked when someone saves our picture and uploads it as their own, or shares it, we get so upset when a picture we posted years ago reemerges, why? Why do we act surprised?
    Secondly, changing your identity online- this is a disturbing thought, but again we all know that it happens. How often is someone who they say they are. Yes, I 1000000% agree that taking baby photos and uploading them as your own child is bizarre, scary, and “creepy” but we have nobody to blame but ourselves. My uncle recently had a child and he refused to let a picture of his baby girl on social media for the first year of her life, to protect her identity because this is not a safe world. It is a very creepy world.

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  3. As a consistent Instagram user, this blog made me realize how creepy this iPhone app actually is! I call other people creeps, but after reading this I think I might be considered a creep. It’s funny I’m reading this now because just last night, I was browsing on random Instragram accounts, and ended up on a girl who refers to herself as “Yumyum McGiggles Faye.” Although my account is on private, that just goes to show that anyone can go on an Instragram account, screen shot a picture, and post it as their own. What’s even scarier, is that I’m sure there are ways to get around the private setting.

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  4. This is why I do not like Instagram! I think that it is creepy to go look at just other people’s pictures all day long. However, I have realized that I find myself doing the same thing on Facebook. I guess I just like reading the statuses more than just staring at random pictures. I head of cat fishing before because people have insecurities and try to be someone they are not. However i never heard about people stealing other baby pictures and trying to say it is their own child. That is crazy! I love social media, but that is taking things way out of line. People need to watch what they post because it is not as private as they may think.

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  5. It is so crazy to believe how “creepy” people can be on the internet. I mean being a mom and having someone steal my daughters photos would freak me out. Who would portray themselves as someone they are not or pretend to have a child they are not. In what world would someone think this is okay? I found out about two years ago that someone was using pictures of me on some dating sites. It freaked me out. Why would someone want to look like me? I mean eventually it will get out that the person doesn’t look like me so why risk it. It brings me to the show “Catfish” and how many people pretend to be someone they are not because they don’t like who they are. In security sucks but people will get hurt when they find out you don’t actually look like that. Its scary to think just how many people believe that all of this is okay.

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  6. To answer your question, yes I am cautious of what I post on instagram, or any social media that I have. As a future teacher I am under a microscope by not only the administrators and principals, but by other teachers, my students parents, and even my students. Any one can simply go to google and type in my name and all social media sites will pop up. I made it a point when I created accounts on social media sights that i made them as private as possible. when you google my name a few pictures come up but nothing bad, and when you click on my social media sites you get nothing, everything is blocked. I think if you are going to put your pictures on the internet you should be aware that if you don’t make your site private people can steal your pictures and the technically they are not doing anything illegal, creepy and weird, yes.

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  7. Your blog title is hilarious but also very surreal! Like you mentioned, unless someone is living under a complete rock, they have some sort of social media influencing their life. It seems as if all of us have a ‘creepy’ side. We all enjoy looking at peoples photos and scrolling around someones life. It seems like second nature to us today.

    I do definitely find it appalling that people steal pictures. This is especially frightening that they are role playing in small children. I couldn’t even imagine being the parent to those poor children. As social media continues to spread, these issues are unfortunately only going to come about more. It is sad that certain people have to abuse cites like Instagram. It seems as if there is a fine line in normal and creepy as far as social media goes.

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  8. Instagram is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine as well. I love Instagram because I like to edit and post photos to share. However, there are people in this world that take advantage of simple things like Instagram. I am not surprised that someone would copy a photo of someone’s baby and portray that it is their own. Some people are just crazy and will do anything for attention, whether it is negative or not.

    This blog post reminded me of MTV’s television series, Catfish. Catfish is a show where a person online pretends that they are someone else to attract the attention of another person. The ‘Catfishes’ goal is to date the other person and have them believe that they really are who their stolen picture proves them to be. Instances happen like this frequently, but I agree when you said who’s to blame? When Posting a photo online you are taking a risk and you should know what situations to expect.

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  9. While this article might creep us out more because it the identity of a baby, identity theft, or “catfishing,” has been happening for years now. The show “Catfish” on MTV, which has been on now for three seasons, has been documenting people who have stolen pictures and claimed it was them. I think the question to the mother of the article would be, “was your profile on private?” If you are posting pictures of your child and you don’t want the world to get ahold of them your profile should as locked as possible. Or if you have the fear of your baby’s picture getting out to strangers don’t post them! Print them and send them to your friends and family the old school way.

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  10. It is definitely terrifying to think that someone would “adopt” your baby online. I see ciarla50’s point that this has been happening for years now. The example of “catfishing” works perfectly with this article and understanding exactly what it is, but I also find using children as crossing the line. It’s rather creepy to “adopt” someone’s child without permission or anything of that sort. However, I also wondered whether the mother of this child had her profile on private as soon as I began reading the article. I understand parents and families wanting to share their photos and information, but these generations that did not grow up with technology need to understand how to protect themselves and their families. Especially in the case of this mother, did she know she could make her profile private? Because that would have been her first line of defense and I think that is why Instagram had no response, because they offer safety, it’s up to the user to utilize it.

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  11. This instantly made me think of a show on MTV called “Catfish”. From what I have seen it is a show of people using other people’s pictures and calling them their own. I have never thought that such a thing could occur with babies as well, but then again anything is possible.
    In today’s culture it seems normal to post family pictures online without giving it a second thought. I personally would never think that a picture of my own could end up on a random website. However, it has happened to me. My previous college had posted athletic head shots of each team member and mine ended up on a random athletic forum. I attempted to get it taken down but had no luck.
    These are just some of the many cases that make you think deeper into the meaning of privacy and what is really private. Hopefully one day we can post pictures without having to worry about the chance of people stealing them.

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  12. Like what others mentioned before, it’s the idea that someone is stealing a baby’s picture and pretending that it is their own kid is the creepiest thing of all. But it is also in our nature to be curious. That’s why I go on Instagram, to see what others are up to and to even follow accounts that are just better at taking selfies than I am.
    However, it does mess with the issues of such things as cyberbullying and privacy (or whatever the term is called for copyright of one’s own photos to be used for personal use). The fact that somebody could just take my picture and pretend it’s them is creepy and wrong.

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  13. There was a T.V show called “Two Broke Girls” that said: “Twitter is stupid and Instagram is for people who are to dumb to spell”. I absolutely agree with you. The social media creeps that are out there in the world are staggering. I do have an Instagram but only to see the pictures of my nieces. There are millions of people who dedicate an hour or day to just browse other people’s pictures on Instagram. You never know who will be looking at your pictures or what they are doing with it. Like the blog said some one stole a baby’s picture and used it for themselves. The concept of Instagram is sound but people twisted and contorted it so much that people are afraid to post a picture.

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  14. Great blog! I liked the survey at the end 🙂 The amount of “creeps” or “creepers” in the social media is way too high! I, myself, find myself creeping a little too much at times. I found the second part of your blog interesting, that we use pictures of babies or people we don’t know and post them onto our instagram and write stuff about it sometimes even make fun of them. I’m sure we have all seen memes that uses the face of the confused girl, well she is suing instagram because her picture went viral. This definitely poses a lot questions about ethics and laws.

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  15. Survey was a great choice on this blog! It is sad how many “creeps” we have in this world but at the same time – our world has made it that way. Before social media, like Instagram – we were not as creepy at least not obvious about it. Liking is becoming a way of communicating with someone. Double tap the picture and a heart appears, that person receives a notification and bamm, you communicated without even opening your mouth. I think it is creepy when random people like your pictures or try and follow you. Facebook and Twitter, I do not know all of my friends but on Instagram, I take that into consideration. I do not want just anyone following my life through pictures, that is just weird. But is it? Today, it is not as weird as originally portrayed and the longer you think about it, the more creepier it becomes. Just remember, everything you post – someone may have that forever and be able to use that against you in some way, especially pictures. It is kind of hard to deny that is you in a picture that you posted on your instagram. Admit it, we are a bunch of creeps. :p

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  16. I as well liked the survey at the end 🙂 Also to answer your question at the end, (which was also a good idea). I do watch what I post. I know sometimes jobs check facebook and instagram now apparently as well. I babysit for two children ages 10 and 11 and they both have instagram and follow me. I am 21 years old so I can legally post pictures of alcohol, but It’s usually always a glass of wine while studying or something, not me at a frat party drunk out of my mind. I do that for myself too. Not just others. Good post. I love instagram, but I think people should take things into consideration about what they are posting and who they follow/who follows them for safety precautions.

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  17. As an avid Instagram user, I found this post very interesting, and somewhat creepy. The fact that people take pictures of other people’s kids and use them as their own is absolutely absurd. I know that sometimes if I see someone who is wearing something funny or doing something stupid, I often take a picture to send to my friends and have a good laugh or too, but I could never imagine going THAT far.

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  18. Like many of our other classmates, I use Instagram every single day, multiple times a day. There have been times before when I thought about the privacy factor of the app, but this post had me completely creeped out at the behavior of some people. I agree; there is definitely a blurred line between what is appropriate and what isn’t, but I also think that line is defined differently for each user. Some may find things more inappropriate than others. The baby picture situation is a whole different scenario. Clearly babies don’t have a say in whether or not their picture gets posted on Instagram, and now I’m sitting here wondering whether or not something that simple is appropriate or not.

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  19. Wow! It is crazy to think about how once you upload any picture to website that shares photos you automatically waive your rights to your photos. These social media apps, can use your photos in advertising for example. People are crazy and they are not afraid to screenshot your photos and use it for whatever they want. This post makes me realize how careful I have to be when I become a mother because not just anyone is going to have access to pictures of my children.

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