The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA-1998) was set up to ensure internet safety and bans kids under the age of 13 from having social media accounts.
Instagram can deactivate accounts that belong to underage users, but there are exceptions listed under their help page.
They state that while a child is under thirteen is not allowed to access account, a parent or a manager can run the account for the child. Instagram states that if they cannot prove that an adult is running the account, then they will go ahead and delete it.
However, there are no limits for a 16-year-old having communications with a 21-year-old.
Bianca Devins 17, from Utica NY, was killed on July 14, 2019. Brandon Clark 22, is now facing 25 years to life in prison. The two met each other online several months prior and later in person. Devins had no romantic feelings for Clark. He was jealous of her interaction with another male and killed her. Police investigated Clark’s phone and computer, and believe he had planned to kill her for some time.
Clark went as far as to posting images of her dead body online under the account @yesjuliet, which has now been terminated. He left the dates of her birth and death in the biography. Under her pictures, Clark left the quote, “Sorry f**kers, you’re gonna have to find someone else to orbit.”
Angelina Church 14, Waxahachie TX, went missing on Jan. 27 and was found ten days later. She met up with a 20-year-old man, who she met on Instagram. The man dropped her off at a Whataburger before she went missing. With video footage to back up this claim, the man was released after questioning.
“You never who’s at the end of the other phone,” Jadey Agredano commented, a 17-years-old who attends high school in San Leandro, CA. Agredano is a bright young girl who hopes to operate her own business.
She started her own Instagram page dedicated to her nail art, over 300 followers and counting, which she hopes to make a career out of.
Agredano hasn’t had many encounters with older strangers online. She dismisses anyone that could be worrisome, and thankfully there haven’t been many. However, she can’t do the same thing for her in-person experiences, “It’s really annoying and nasty, it happens to me a lot.” She questions the morals of these older men.
Agredano stated that these men must have women figures in their personal lives and can’t imagine how they would hurt other women, much less a child.
Agredano knew two girls who were killed by their abusive boyfriends. The victims won’t be named out of respect and they were miners. Both girls attended the same school as Agredano. One girl who was a senior, killed last year. The other girl was killed when Agredano was in the fourth grade but was a close friend to Adegrano’s family.
She wanted to point out that the men who killed the girls were ones they met in school, not a stranger on the internet. She understands that no girl is looking for danger, but can’t be so naive to the people they meet online. She stated that teens might be more vulnerable in tough situations.
“The person who you love may not turn out to be someone who they seem.”
Agredano was lucky to have her mother monitor her social media from a young age. Her first account was Facebook in the first grade. Agredano’s mother knew all her passwords and the friends she followed.
She stated that now she does have more privacy as she’s older, but knows she has someone she trusts if she feels she’s in real danger. “There has to be more talk about this. There’s only so much the internet can protect you from. I wish we would talk more about this in school.”
Love is Respect is an organization that’s, “The ultimate resource to empower youth to prevent and end dating abuse. It is a project of the National Domestic Violence Hotline.” as stated on their website. They provide private chats or calls with real people who are there to listen. The website provides quizzes to test if you’re in a toxic relationship and how to look for signs.
There is always someone ready to listen 24/7/365
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