Facebook “Shaming” Backfires on Mom

Facebook “Shaming” Backfires on Mom

A mom who tried to teach her daughter about the dangers of Facebook had the lesson backfire on her in a bad way.  Kira Hudson of Colorado thought that she could teach her 12-year-old daughter why she couldn’t have a Facebook account through a method that a number of teachers have experimented with in teaching their students about how quickly something can go viral.

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 Users on the random message board 4chan ultimately found the photo, though, and backtracked their way to Hudson’s Facebook page and the image.  Using the phone and address information they found about Hudson on 4Chan, Hudson suddenly found herself on the receiving end of prank calls and many pizzas.  The photo of her daughter holding a sign that said that her mother was trying to teach her a lesson about the dangers of the Internet received over 1 million likes by the time it had been taken down by Hudson.

It goes to show that Facebook images can be easily downloaded and modified; the image of Hudson’s daughter went through a variety of permutations throughout the very brief time it had been posted to the popular social media site.  Some of the changes done to the image were indecent, but one of the most profound would likely be one where the sign was changed to read, “Maybe you shouldn’t use your daughter as an experiment to prove your point.  Just an idea.”

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Hudson notes she was very lucky that her former phone number was the one listed on 4Chan’s site.  She says, however, that those who are living at her old address will not be so lucky, and that the next pizza they receive would be a gift from her.

Hudson is not alone.  There are several hundreds of people who have their images stolen from Facebook and other social media sites due to data scraping.  However, there is currently no way of preventing data scraping.  Firewalls or other traditional security mechanisms don’t appear to be effective against data scraping, which is a popular means of stealing data such as images from websites.

However, this lesson has proved a valuable one for Hudson, who had thought her Facebook privacy settings would be enough to prevent her privacy – like photos – would not be infringed upon.  There are a number of people who don’t realize where their privacy settings can be adjusted given Facebook’s changes.  There is a sprocket in the upper right hand corner of most screens, and it is simply a matter, from there, of restricting the available access to your Facebook profile.  You can remove who has access to your photos to where you want notifications from.

As for Hudson, she has learned a valuable lesson from her experience, and notes that her daughter has as well.  While Facebook can be a valuable tool, it can also be used improperly by those wanting to be inappropriate. Next time, be careful! Stay tuned for more news updates