Maryland State Police investigate explicit Instagram photos of children

If you have children on Instagram, there is an important warning for you from Maryland State Police.
 
Right now, authorities are looking into complaints about sexually explicit pictures of children showing up on social media sites, specifically Instagram. 
 
"What started the investigation was one parent called law enforcement in southern Maryland, reporting that these images were online. So immediately our computer crime section began the investigation," Elena Russo, Maryland state police spokesperson, said.
 
Police say the pictures, which were posted on several different pages on Instagram, are not considered child pornography under Maryland law.
 
"At this point, investigators are not sure who these people are in the pictures because there's no face, there's no identifying information, a name or location attached to these pictures but we do know that they're originating from some place and that's truly the focus of the investigation," Russo said.  
 
In the meantime, the advice is to keep lines of communications open with your kids. Even if they're not posting anything inappropriate, they might come across it.
 
For many families, staying safe online goes beyond talking and includes monitoring. 
 
Ken Szpara's 13 year old daughter, Natalie uses Instagram. He says he trusts that she is using it responsibly. 
 
"She pretty much does it in the house where I can see what she's doing but yeah, I do worry. I have other children and they've seen things that they shouldn't have so I do monitor it," Szpara said. 
 
If you or your kids come across of these explicit images, be sure to report them on the Instagram help page or with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at www.cybertipline.com. 
 

 

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