How a New Trend Is Inspiring Moms to Remove Photos of Kids from TikTok

·3 min read

The app has once again raised concerns over children's privacy and safety online.

A group of parents—mainly mothers—have responded to a recent TikTok trend by removing any images of their children that they previously shared from the app.

And they're inspiring others to do the same.

It all started after users uncovered that videos shared by a popular mother-daughter duo TikTok account (@wren.eleanor) had been saved upwards of 50,000 times.

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Other users also noticed inappropriate comments posted on the videos of three-year-old Wren.

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In addition to numerous concerning suggested queries when the name of the account and the toddler was searched online; with photos and videos of Wren reposted all across the Internet.

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The newfound information has raised concerns over children's privacy and safety on the app as well as sparked conversations with other parents who are also creators.

Many have chosen to remove all images of their children and decided to no longer post them publicly, either on TikTok or any other social media app.

"Seriously in tears about that little girl such a sick world with sick people #WrenEleanor #protectourchildren," one mother wrote in a the caption of a video shared with her near 23K followers that explained why her daughter is now absent from all of her posts.

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Even people who aren't parents have felt the need to delete the images they shared of underage relatives and friend's children.

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Others have used the hashtag #SaveWren—in part to highlight their concerns around unintentionally exploiting a child, but to get the adult's attention behind the account.

Jacquelyn, the mother of Wren and owner of the TikTok account, addressed the #SaveWren hashtags in a now-deleted video that was posted to TikTok.

The video was titled "Hate comments we get as influencers" and featured Jacquelyn alongside five other creators. In the video, Jacquelyn allegedly equated the hashtag with hateful criticism.

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And went on to mock those who accused the mother of exploiting her child.

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TikTok users, upset with Jacquelyn's response, won't just move on. Instead, they've used the situation as a tool to educate parents that may otherwise share photos of their children freely.

"As a parent, when you know better, you need to do better," emphasized one user as she explained the rabbit hole of creepy information she dug up on a person who commented 'cute' on one of Wren's photos.

Apparently, that photo of Wren was one of many children—some as young as a few months old—that the stranger had saved on Pinterest.

"Something that we would see as so innocent," she said, has become fuel for online predators.

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While the story is unsettling, it's not exactly new—protecting kid's from the dangers of those who lurk on the Internet has been a struggle since its inception. The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) helped Microsoft develop age-based guidance for Internet use over 10 years ago.

That said, this new trend has certainly highlighted the growing concern over the world's access to children when they're not the ones posting online.

Parade reached out to Jacquelyn for a comment.

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