Cutting Through the Chaos: Another side of Instagram

(WMAR) - It didn't take long for these Instagram photos to surface after that deadly Parkland school shooting. Within hours we saw what appears to be Nicholas Cruz and his fascination with weapons.

The couple who took the 19 year old accused shooter in says they weren't aware of his Instagram account, where he purportedly posted photos of guns and animal killings.

"We knew he had one Instagram account that my son had that would be the normal one. The other Instagram accounts that he had we had no idea about, my son had no idea about. As far as animal killing he never did anything like that at our house."

According to an FBI tip caller Cruz had several Instagram accounts, all with different names. The kids call those accounts finstagram.

There's Insta and that's the real Instagram that most adults have, parents have, and then there's finsta. It’s another Instagram page that is fake Instagram. You can use it to just let your friends see a deeper part of your world in your life and that's how a lot of students are using it, friends are using it..

They're not telling people how they really feel or sharing photos they don't want the world to see, instead they're using their finstagram or fake Instagram accounts.

Mia Redrick the Mom Strategist says the pages are often private and difficult to find.

"You won't be able to search their name however because a lot of kids who have fake Instagram pages also use a different name for that fake page."

Redrick learned her daughter has one, and she says it's possible your kids have one too.

"Her fake Instagram page is only with friends who are interested in the ways that she likes to hair braid. But it can also be used for more intimate things or your alter ego, another side of who you are that you don't want to express to the world, maybe that you don't want your parents to see."

Just because they have finstagram, doesn't mean it’s a bad thing, but fake or real, Redrick says it's still social media and the same rules should apply.

"That's one of the greatest risks if you're thinking fake Instagram means the world can't see what you're doing, you're not thinking that you can still be accountable for the things that you're posting on these fake Instagram sites. All we can do as parents is to talk to our children about posting responsibly and if they see anything that is not appropriate, to tell someone before it is a tragedy."

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