There's been a huge rise in creeps using Instagram to groom children
- Child groomers are increasingly using Instagram as a hunting ground, with their use of the platform more than tripling according to figures obtained by a children's charity.
- The NSPCC found 22% of all 1,944 grooming offences recorded by British police forces over a six-month period last year took place on Instagram.
- The timing of the findings is awkward for Facebook's social network, which is facing questions about child safety and the threat of more aggressive regulation.
View all Offers
Dettol Original Germ Protection Bathing Soap bar, 125 gm, Buy 4 Get 1 Free₹ 220Buy On
Dettol Original Germ Protection Liquid Handwash Refill, 1500ml (Price Off)₹ 208Buy On
Mamaearth Onion Hair Fall Shampoo for Hair Growth & Hair Fall Control, with Onion Oil & Plant Keratin 250ml₹ 349Buy On
- 11% OFF
Parachute jumbo pack 100% pure coconut oil 600 ml (bottle )₹ 223₹ 250Buy On
Mamaearth Onion Oil for Hair Growth & Hair Fall Control with Redensyl 150ml₹ 399Buy On
Police also broke down which online platforms were used by groomers across 1,317 cases. Predatory behavior on Instagram made up 32% of these cases, ahead of Facebook and Snapchat, which were used in 23% and 14% of child grooming instances respectively.The NSPCC found that girls aged 12 to 15 were most likely to be targeted by groomers, but victims did include children aged as young as five. Instagram's own rules state that users must be at least 13 years old, but the policy is easily circumvented.The timing of the findings is awkward for Instagram. It comes amid growing fears for the safety of young people on its platform, as well as an increasingly hostile regulatory environment.
"It is hugely concerning to see the sharp spike in grooming offences on Instagram, and it is vital that the platform designs basic protection more carefully into the service it offers young people," said NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless. "We cannot wait for the next tragedy before tech companies are made to act."Just last month, Instagram boss Adam Mosseri was in the UK to talk to politicians about Instagram being blamed for teen suicides following the death of 14-year-old Molly Russell, who had been looking at images of self-harm. Mosseri pledged to ban all graphic images of self-harm.
Last year, Business Insider discovered that Instagram's new TV service IGTV was recommending sexually suggestive videos of children. Instagram removed the videos and apologized.
An Instagram spokesman said: "Keeping young people safe on our platforms is our top priority and child exploitation of any kind is not allowed. We use advanced technology and work closely with the police and CEOP to aggressively fight this type of content and protect young people."Online child grooming is an issue that the British government is planning to crack down on as part of new laws that will be introduced this year. Digital minister Margot James told Business Insider on Thursday that a new tech regulator could fine companies potentially billions of dollars if they fail to remove harmful content.
- Amazon Prime Day 2021: Best deals and offers on laptops
- Amazon Prime Day 2021: Best deals and offers on Echo, Kindle, Fire TV
- Amazon Prime Day 2021: Best deals and offers on luggage bags
- Amazon Prime Day 2021: Best deals and offers on bags for women
- Amazon Prime Day 2021: Best deals and offers on artificial jewellery