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Resident urges caution on Facebook after children’s photos posted by unknown man

June 11, 2012
A Vinton County woman is warning area Facebook users to be cautious on the site after she found photos of her children on a stranger’s page.Local photographer Stacey Tolley said she was uploading pictures from a wedding she photographed when she stumbled upon the name of a man she was not familiar with who had liked some of her photos. She discovered the man was on her friend list, but was unsure how he got there.She said it was what she found next that caused her to fear for her children.

“I don’t remember adding him, but when I saw a strange name “liked” an album on my page, I went to it and found that he had two different pictures of [my children] on his page,” Tolley said as she explained the incident on her Facebook wall.

Tolley said other men who she did not know were also liking the photo of her children. For her, it was a frightening find.

“It’s too scary. Somebody can get a hold of your kids and you don’t even know it,” Tolley said. “There is never a good reason why a stranger has a picture of a child they don’t know on their FB and their adult male friends are “liking” it!”

Tolley said the man, who listed his location as Saudi Arabia, had pictures of young people from various areas but hers weren’t the only children from the area who were found on his page. She said there were other photos of young Vinton County people on his page as well.

To make matters even worse, Tolley said the man’s profile included information about being a kidnapper. She said she was deeply concerned that someone may try to hurt one of her children.

Tolley said she immediately deleted and blocked the man from her friend list and called the Vinton County Sheriff’s Office to report what had happened.

Sheriff Shawn Justice said his office is investigating the incident. He said he advised Tolley to  contact Facebook and have the pics removed from the page.

Justice said he wanted to advise residents to be careful when posting on Facebook and to always be mindful of who can see their posts.

Tolley said Facebook has always been a way for her to remain close to the people she cares about, but the incident has made her rethink the safety in social media.

“I’m so completely stressed out over it. I can’t stand it,” Tolley said. “It’s a nice tool to keep in touch with family and people I work with, but it’s not worth my child’s life.”

Tolley said she changed the settings on all of her Facebook pictures and began to warn her friends of the dangers of Facebook. She posted warnings on her wall telling others not make friends with Facebook users they do not know because it can be dangerous.

“PLEASE all of you out there delete and block all people you don’t know,” Tolley warned her friends in a Facebook post.

Tolley said she is still unsure whether or not she will keep her profile, but she has decided to keep her children off the site and try to prevent as much danger to them as possible.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 11, 2012 7:07 pm

    It is awful what others can do to harm others.
    Also people needs to be aware not to click like to everthing.
    On things people knows nothing about.
    I see so much of this.

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