Mom Nabs Creeps Who Contacted Her Teen On Facebook But She Should Delete Teen’s Account Instead

shutterstock_147311912__1395330349_142.196.167.223An Ohio mother posed as her 14-year-old daughter and sent messages to older men she saw in her daughter’s friends list on Facebook to see if they would respond in a creepy way. They did. Is anyone surprised that older men who would befriend young teens would be creepy? I’m not. This mom is wasting her time contacting weirdos on the Internet. She should be deleting her daughter’s profile instead.

From  ABC News:

A police report says the mother got on the 14-year-olds Facebook page to monitor what these men are saying to her daughter.

The mother tells us she posed as her daughter and sent messages to two of the men who were requesting to hook up.

“Its sick, it is very sick,” said the teenager’s older cousin.

When the mother posed as her daughter she says she even told them she was 14.

“They just didn’t care,” she said.

As far as I’m concerned, social media and young teens do not mix. Facebook keeps changing its privacy policies leaving teens more vulnerable to strangers contacting them on the Internet. Instead of making our teens experiments – I have an idea; how about we stop letting them have photos on their profiles, or have profiles all together?

Facebook can be confusing, but as far I know you still have to “accept” friend requests, right? You go into your daughters profile and she has a bunch of friends you don’t know who happen to be older men? She’s failed the, “I am mature enough to have a Facebook account” test. She’s not. She doesn’t understand the rules, number one being that you do not befriend strangers on the Internet. Did you teach her these rules, or were you too busy planning your sting operation?

Social media is not safe for young teens. It’s just not. Between the weirdos contacting them on the Internet, the bullying and the stealing of their images for advertising, how much more proof do parents need that teens and social media do not mix? Good for this mom for reporting these men to the police, but when it comes to this topic I’m going to continue to be a broken record; there is no reason why a 14-year-old needs to have an online profile that gives up any information about her/him. If there is a logical reason, I’d love to hear it.

(photo: 1000words/ Shutterstock)

Be Sociable, Share!
You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
Be Sociable, Share!
  • Kay_Sue

    I agree to an extent. It’s up to parents to decide when their kid is ready for that privilege, but once they fail the responsibility test this spectacularly, your first stop should be the police (they might still need access to the account…I don’t know how that works but I would notify them first)…and your second should be deleting the account.

    • Kelly

      What is it you think the police can do about someone friending a minor on facebook?

    • Kendra

      I’m assuming she meant to contact the police if the messages she received were sexually explicit.

    • SA

      To Catch A Predator.

    • Kelly

      1. Those men actually showed up to have sex with a minor. If they had stayed home, they never would have been arrested.

      2. I don’t think you realize how few of those charges actually stuck. Most of those men are free.

      Seriously, I think some of you are going to find yourself beyond disappointed and disgusted if you ever find yourself in a position to report a pedophile. I know I was. They pretty much have to full on rape a kid for anything to happen and even then, they’ll be out to rape more kids in a couple of years.

    • Kay_Sue

      Friending them isn’t illegal, but last time I checked, there were laws in place that did not allow people to distribute obscene materials to minors and there are a variety of other legalities that have come about as a result of sexting and other phenomenon in the digital age. Depending on what I found on her profile, yes, I’d probably hand it over to the police.

      I’m not as familiar with the legalities of the situation as they would be, so it seems the best way to figure out if there was a crime committed–and perhaps prevent a child from being attacked by men who are predators–would be to contact the police.

      Or I could, you know, completely ignore it, take my child off of the internet, and not give a damn about what they could do to other kids who didn’t have involved parents, or vulnerable teens whose parents were too late to help them.

  • Véronique Houde

    Banning social media isn’t the solution. But I do agree with you that the mother wasn’t focusing her energy in the right place. She should be monitoring her own teen’s behaviour and preventing her from adding these men – focus on teaching her child responsible social media use.

    • Robotic Socks

      Yea, it looks like she didn’t raise her daughter very well and is now throwing all the blame at strangers.

      Maybe if she taught her daughter not to be available to these men in the first place…

  • Alex

    I don’t see why she can’t do both. Contact the police to see what sort of evidence/messages they need to be able to go after these men, obtain said evidence/messages according their instructions, and delete the account after the investigation and any criminal proceedings are complete (since that can take awhile, revoke daughter’s control of the account and prohibit her from creating another in the meantime).

  • Kelly

    I don’t understand why the girl wasn’t in trouble for friending people she doesn’t know. I have a young teenager on facebook. He’s only allowed to friend people he knows in real life.

    That’s a pretty basic rule and it’s easy to enforce. I just look over his friends list. No need to go all super spy and start contacting the random weirdos who don’t belong there. Just delete them and deal with the fact that your kid broke the rules. Unless she didn’t have any rules and in that case, the mother is just stupid.

    • Jennifer Freeman

      Same rule in our house – only people she knows in real life. We’re going on 5 years of FB now and no inappropriate friends as far as I can tell. I actually saw her send a PM to someone that was a friend of a friend that had sent her a friend request, telling him that he seemed cool but she could only friend people she knew IRL. It may seem overly paranoid, but stories like this: scare the crap out of me.

    • Kelly

      That’s really cool that she let someone know she can only friend people she actually knows in real life. I’d be proud if I saw that message in my son’s facebook. It’s good to know they take the rules seriously.

  • Kendra

    I tend to agree, because I’ve seen this same sort of article relating to instagram. Teens don’t seem to understand that hashtagging a photo makes it public to anyone, even if your profile is private. And we all know how teens love to hashtag. Once their pictures (or their friends’ pictures) are public, they can get friend requests from the creeps. I hate to think what it will be like when my daughter is old enough, but I’m probably going to be overprotective about it.

  • K.

    I don’t know any 14-year-old girls who would want to be “friends” with grown men that are not relatives on FB. None of them would accept a friend request from an adult man–certainly not a stranger, not a teacher, certainly not a friend’s parent.

    That’s why this is weird.

    • SA

      Grown men could mean a 19 or 20 year old guy. A young teenage might be flattered by an ‘older’ guys attention and not thinking about the inappropriateness of it.

    • K.

      Oh, well that’s true. I think I was thinking of middle-aged men.

      I get that a teenager would be flattered by the attention and some of them WOULD friend college-aged guys, but not many that I know would go beyond that, unless the guy looked really young. (I teach that age-group, although my crowd is a fairly privileged subset)

  • Buffy

    I thought one of the problems is that men pretend to be teenagers, too, with fake pictures and lure the young girls to send them pics or even meet them in real life— and then it’s too late *shudder*.
    I am glad my kid is way too young for any social networking.

    • Kay_Sue

      No, there are plenty of them that are unashamed and don’t bother to hide what or who they are.

    • Buffy

      This is really, really scary. I didn’t know that.

  • SA

    I would contact local police first – they were contacting her minor daughter looking to hook up so these men are definitely predators and maybe have tried before and succeeded and might try again.

    Then, after the police had the info they needed, the Facebook page would be deleted until the child’s next birthday and then it would be reinstated with strict rules and parental oversight.

  • Katherine Handcock

    I definitely agree that this constitutes a pretty spectacular “you failed the maturity test” moment! But, for all we know, this mom also deleted her daughter’s account after preserving the messages that were of concern. So I don’t know that it’s fair to say, “she should be dealing with the daughter” because we have no evidence really that she isn’t.

  • Henry Smallwood

    Invite the creeps over and kill them. Turn to the daughter and say, “Now look what you made Mom do!”