A three-year-old girl has unwittingly sparked a growing movement to protect children on social media.
According to Fox News, the movement has mothers removing public photos and videos of their kids online after internet sleuths discovered a disturbing trend.
Makayla Musick is just one of scores of mothers who recently informed their followers that they are no longer going to be sharing content of their children in public social media forums.
“I just saw the posts on Tiktok and was absolutely appalled by the story and had decided that I needed to protect my daughter,” she told Fox News Digital.
The outlet explains:
The 3-year-old TikTok star at the center of the movement, with the username @wren.eleanor, has more than 17 million followers on the short-form video app run by her mother, Jacquelyn. The account consists of seemingly innocent photos and videos of Wren — a blonde-haired, rosy-cheeked toddler doing normal toddler activities — as well as some sponsored content.
But Wren’s mother began deleting some content once her followers and other TikTok sleuths noticed that certain videos were being saved by other users in numbers that sparked concern. The “save” feature allows users to tag videos, so they are easier to find and refer back to.
The outlet went on to report that the user @hashtagfacts noticed that a video of the toddler wearing a cropped, orange shirt had been saved more than 45,000 times. In addition, a video of the child eating a hotdog had been saved nearly 375,000 times.
The user went on to note that there were many comments on Wren’s videos that were disturbing, pointing out that popular searches for the toddler’s account included the terms “Wren Eleanor hotdog” or “Wren Eleanor pickle,” which meant that users were looking for specific videos of the child eating those foods. There were similarly high numbers of searches for those videos on Google.
“And not only can videos and photos be saved on TikTok and other social media accounts, but predators can also use a smartphone’s screen-recording feature to record or screenshot content directly to their phones without being traced,” Fox News Digital added.
After users began taking notice of the problematic searches and other activities linked to Wren’s account, moms like Musick are moving quickly to take down pictures and videos of their own kids that had been posted to social media.
The mom added that though she has nowhere near the following of Wren, she said it is nevertheless her responsibility to protect her kids.
“Wren’s story brought a lot of light to all the sick people in the world,” she explained to Fox News Digital. “So, I decided to remove my own daughter’s photos from anyone who is not close family/close friends. My duty as her mother is to protect her from things like this. I took the initiative to remove her photos before anything like Wren’s situation could happen to my own daughter.”
Musick said she was both surprised and unsurprised regarding Wren’s account because she has “always known there were sick people in the world that do these kinds of things.” She now looks at social media in a different light and “won’t be posting” her daughter’s content on social media “until she’s way older.”