Full Episode: Social Media Predators | The Mel Robbins Show

Full Episode: Social Media Predators | The Mel Robbins Show

– A Mel Robbins Special,
(dramatic music) social media predators. The terrifying warning for every parent, today on Mel. I’m Mel Robins,
(upbeat music) and I’m a life coach
(audience cheering) who’s helped millions of people
get the life they deserve. It’s about small steps and big breakthroughs. I believe in you. – [Audience] Five, four. – And together–
– Three, two, one. – Yes. We got this. (audience cheering) – Hi, everybody. Hi, how are you? Nice to see you. How are you? Hi, everyone. Hi. Thank you. Thank you. Hi, I’m Mel Robbins and today we’re talking
about something every parent and grandparent needs to know, social media predators. Are your kids protected online? Do you know the online dangers they face? Two out of five kids are approached by sexual predators online who try to set up face-to-face meetings. That statistic startled me. It’s something I worry about as a mom. And a warning to everyone watching some of the things we are
discussing on today’s show are graphic and disturbing. If you have young children in the room this is not a show for them. The first guest you’re going to meet was only 15 when she was
contacted by a predator on Instagram. You’re also going to hear chilling stories affecting kids as young as eight. This is a crisis, no one is talking about it. But we are today and you need to listen. (dramatic music) It’s become a breeding
ground for sexual predators, social networking sites,
online gaming apps, video chat rooms, they’re all gateways exposing young children and teens to complete strangers in a pervasive way we’ve never seen before. – The internet today is quite dangerous for children who are unsupervised. It’s worldwide so you could
have somebody half way across the world reaching
out to your child. The internet is as dangerous as leaving your child
unsupervised in a park if you will at midnight. – [Mel] Over half a million predators are online every single day. And more than 50% of victims of online sexual exploitation are just 12 to 15 years of age. Chat rooms are a
predator’s dream come true. And it’s the predominant method to meet your kids online. Sydney was online 15 years old when she unknowingly connected with an Instagram predator who would immediately change her life. – When I was 14, I
started posting pictures of myself online. When I was 15 I received a direct message from a guy. He told me that he was a photographer and had a lot of contacts
with big modeling agencies. He thought that I had a great look and wanted to work with me. He also had over 75,000 followers and I thought that this
could be a good opportunity for my modeling career. – [Mel] Sydney agreed to meet him for her very first photo shoot and even though Sydney’s mother was there, she says it escalated quickly. – He took me beyond the studio where there was this tall grass and he kept wanting me to take more and more of my clothes off. After the photo shoot he kept sending me tons and tons of messages. He had asked me to take
nude photos to print and put on the walls in his apartment. He also started asking
me sexual questions. These messages went on for months and he wouldn’t even give me the photos that he had taken. I just couldn’t understand
why did this happen to me. – Everyone you’re meeting
today and on stage with me has been affected by a
social media predator from the kids, to the
parents, grandparents, and even police that you’re about to meet. And we’re gonna start with Sydney. Sydney was only 15 when
she unknowingly connected with an Instagram predator. A situation that would
immediately change her life. So Sydney, tell me what happened. – I was in the mall one day and I saw Victoria Secret Angel and I was like, “Wow, that’s just amazing, “like I would love to do that.” And so I use Instagram as a platform to make connections with
photographers and other models. So one day a photographer with about 75,000
followers reached out to me and he was like, “Hey, I love your look.” Like, “I’d love to shoot with you “and I can help you.” And like he told me that he had all these great
modeling agency connections and he’d worked with some
really well known models so I like had no reason to believe that he had any ill intent. So I went to a shoot and I brought my mom with me. – Okay, great. So you brought your mom. – Yes. – And what happened at the shoot? – So while she was in the other room, I was shooting with the photographer and he kind of convinced me to take off more clothing
throughout the photo shoot. And he was just telling me that this was normal, this was the industry. I ended up taking photos in underwear, like a bra and a thong. And I actually never
received those photos back. – And what happens next? – So he ended up texting and
calling me really frequently and it was more than just a
friendly professional level. He ended up asking me really
inappropriate questions about my virginity. So he also then asked
me to take nude photos and he also told that he would like me to do a shoot in lingerie with one of his friends who was a male and was in his 20s while I was 15. – And did he also send you photos? – Yes. There was a penis photo
that was sent to me and he told me that it was from his friend that was going to do the shoot with me but I believe that it was
actually the photographer’s photo. – So at any point did
you tell your parents what was happening? – I did not because I blamed myself
for how deep I had gotten into the situation. I didn’t realize all of the red flags and so I was like, “I got
myself into this situation.” And I just felt ashamed about it. So I didn’t tell anyone. – And so as far as you
know he’s still out there. – He absolutely is. He deleted his social media and he took down his photography website but he is still out there. – You know, here’s the
thing that’s interesting is that when parents
think about the dangers we immediately think
about an adult stranger in a car pulling up to a park and trying to lure your kid to get into the car, right. I need everybody to understand that the phone is the modern day park. That’s what social media
(audience clapping) has become. And it’s not, and I’m saying
this in very stark terms because I think most of us, you know, you give your
kid a phone for Christmas and you’re like, “Go have fun.” “Woo, oh, I don’t like social media.” “I’m not on it.” But we are giving our kids access to way too much information and more importantly we are giving strangers access to them. It’s also not just strangers. I understand that you were
DMed by some friend’s father. – Yeah, my friend’s dad
actually reached out to me through Instagram. I worked with his son on a project and at first the message
I got was just like, you know, “Hope you’re doing well.” “Hope you work with my son again soon.” And that’s all fine. Then he started
complementing me on my look and he actually asked to
take me out on a date. And I’m his son’s age and he knows that based off the context so I just thought that was really gross. – Very gross. You know, I think I
heard the audience go ooh when they saw those messages. So did you tell anybody about this? – Yes, I did. I’ve told my parents about it. – When did it stop with this Dad? – It hasn’t. – What do you mean it hasn’t? – He still messages me and still messaged me a few days ago. – He did? – [Booch] Yeah. – I want your phone. – [Booch] Okay. – Give me your phone. – Okay. – So why, have you blocked him? – No. – [Mel] Why? – I don’t believe in blocking people. I’d rather see things as they happen. So I like, I don’t, I think that sharing yourself. – I believe in blocking people. – Yeah.
(audience clapping) – Block. Block. There he’s blocked. (laughing) – Thank you.
– Okay. Now here’s why, it’s actually gotten worse than just the dad reaching out to you because I understand that
somebody propositioned you for sex on Facebook when
you were even younger. – Yeah, I got messages relentlessly from this guy for six months. Every day he would send
me several messages. My phone would be blowing up trying to call me, trying to video chat with me. – When you were 12. – 12 years old. Yeah. And he asked like,
something like he wanted to know how much I cost. He was begging me to answer his messages, sending me like my own pictures that I would be posting. And it was just really, really weird. – So did you talk to your
parents about that one? – Yeah, I did. – And what did they say? – I wasn’t really on
Facebook all that much in like a personal serious way. I was just getting these messages and they thought it was
disgusting and scary. Luckily he was in a different country so that kind of made me a
little less stressed out about it. But people are crazy and really don’t know what could happen. – One of the other mistakes
that I think parents make and I certainly have made this in the past is that our kids come to us with something like this, that’s terrifying, right. And what’s our reaction? Get off Facebook! You can’t have your cellphone! Delete that app! And that doesn’t work. Your kids just make another profile under a different name
that you don’t know about and now you’ve just cut off
the line of communication. And this next story is
even more terrifying because at the age of 12, Samantha gave naked pictures to a complete stranger who
is now a convicted felon. So Samantha, let’s start at the beginning. – So one night my friend
and I were on this site and we were talking to a boy
that we thought was our age. We weren’t really receiving
a lot of attention from boys in school ’cause we
weren’t really that popular. So we turned to the internet and when we had a guy
express interest in us, we jumped on that opportunity. This guy dared us to flash our chests and Mel, we were 12 years old, we didn’t really have anything to show. So we did. About six months later I got a message on another social media site from another person saying that they had this
picture of my friend and I and he also sent me a
picture of my 2,000 friends on that social media site. He told me if I didn’t
log in to the other site and video chat with him that he was gonna send that picture to all of my friends. And at the time during
school I was being bullied. I actually had a picture of myself being circulated around school of me dressed as a clown
with clown makeup on and that feeling came back to me and I thought I never wanna
go through that again. So I agreed and I went into
that video chat with him. – This is actually a
formula that people use. They get one piece of
information about you and then threaten to distribute
it to your entire network. And for a kid who is vulnerable, who’s 12, 13, 14, 15, this is like a death threat. Have you ever heard of
the term sextortion? Well, that’s what happened in this case. Because this sicko had a
list of sexual demands. And when I first read them, I have them sitting here next to me, as a mother I nearly had a heart attack. They are shocking and
you’re gonna hear them when we come back. (gentle music)
(audience clapping) (dramatic music) Up next. This is graphic, it’s disturbing. “Spread it more with
your face in the cam.” “Please, can I be done?” I mean it just. – I never told anybody about that night. – You did come face-to-face
with this predator, can you tell me what happened? (gentle music)
(audience clapping) Welcome back, I’m here with Samantha. At the age of 12 she said
she flashed her breasts in a live video chat with someone she thought
was a boy her age. But it turned into a devastating
and traumatic situation because she was actually
dealing with a pedophile. This crime has a name, it’s sextortion. Sextortion is when someone is coerced into sending sexually explicit images of themselves over the internet. This is a federal crime. Now Samantha, when this
predator reached out to you six months after
you and your friend had flashed yourself and he had the photo. He also had a list of demands. – Yes. He made me strip down and get fully naked. I had to touch myself in certain ways. And the entire time I’m
begging and pleading for him to make it stop, and let me stop, and let me, just to leave me alone. And he kept reminding me that every time that I begged him to stop he just reminded me that he had something even worse on me now than the first
picture originally. So if I didn’t do the pose
correctly I had to do it again. Because I was crying in a lot of the shots I had to redo them because
he needed me to smile. I had to touch myself and do things that little girls never even imagine. – And he was holding
over your head the fact that he was gonna distribute things to all of your friends on Facebook if you didn’t comply with these demands. – Yeah, I did everything
that he asked me to do. – And how long did this
live video thing go on? – It went on for about six hours. – Well, I’ve read some of the transcripts and they’re really hard to get through. If you have children in the room, you do not want them to hear this. This is graphic, it’s disturbing. And I’m gonna read some of the exchange. “Spread wider.” “Put the cam there and lay back.” “Show us you again.” “Can you use your hands?” And then you start to plead, “Please, please.” “Both hands.” “Please, can I be done now?” “Please.” “You are the only people
to ever see me like that.” “Spread it more with
your face in the cam.” “Please.” “Is that it?” “Then can I be done?” “Please.” “Yes, do that and show
us your bod one more time “and you’re done.” You say, “I feel sick.” “Why do you feel sick?” “I don’t know.” “I just feel really gross.” “Why is that?” “You didn’t have a choice, “so it’s not your fault.” “You were forced to do this “’cause you made a
mistake six months ago.” I mean that just. – It just goes to show like, that he knew he was manipulating me, like and I blamed myself for so long. Like, I felt guilty like it was my fault. And I never told anybody. I never told anybody about that night. – Now I understand that
you did come face-to-face with this predator. Can you tell me what happened and why that was so
important for you to heal? – Yes. About four years after the
FBI showed up at my house I had to go and see all the evidence that they had against this guy and basically see me in this light again and I had all these repressed
feelings come back to surface. And I was like totally depressed. I attempted suicide and I’m here now. And you know, I got through it. (audience clapping) But… going to the trial and seeing him was something that I needed to do because after the FBI was at my house I mean I tried searching for years what this guy looked like. I had to put a face to the name and a face to the person who did this to not only just me but 350 of us. – Yeah, his victims
were as young as eight. They seized 80,000 pornographic images. His victims spanned 26 states,
three Canadian provinces, the UK, as shown on this map that was created by the FBI. And I am happy to say that Lucas Micheal Chancellor was sentenced to 105 years in prison
(audience clapping) for child pornography and sextortion. And here’s the thing, I would normally never say his name, ever but the FBI is still
looking to identify victims. So if you or someone you know might have been a victim of this predator please visit or contact the National Center for
Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST. Now I wanna introduce former
NYPD Detective Mark Novak. Mark, I would love for you to come up and join this conversation.
(audience clapping) Thank you for being here. – How are you, Samantha? – How ya doing? – I’m good. – How common is this? – The exploitation–
– Yes. – Is fairly common. The method used in this
instance, the coercion, and the threats against Samantha are in my opinion less common. – So what are the strategies
that these predators use to start to connect
with an eight year old, or a 10 year old, or a 12
year old, or a 15 year old? – Well, first and foremost
as you said earlier looking for somebody who’s vulnerable. They’re looking for
someone who’s susceptible to being praised or looking
to fill some sort of void. – So any teenager basically. – Any teenager really. Yeah, quite honestly. And what the strategies
consist of generally are flattery, grooming. This grooming will consist
of doing a number of things to gain the child’s trust. In Samantha’s case what they
did was it was simply coercion. They’ll use threats either
against the individual whether it be physical or whether it be the threat
of releasing information to family and friends. They’ll make threats often times
against the family members, against friends of the child. So it’s one of the strategies but I believe it’s less common. More likely or more common is
somebody hiding in plain sight who’s going to befriend the child. A lot of compliments, you’re amazing, you’re doing really well. And look to draw this child in to where they trust this individual. – What do parents need to do? And I’m also thinking about situations where okay, you see something
that’s creepy you block. When do you report? – My feeling is, if you have a situation where something is being
said that’s inappropriate to your child or someone
is either inferring or outright requesting some
sort of sexual photographs or some sort of exploitation of the child, you need to report that for the simple fact that you
don’t know what’s going on. You don’t know what else
this individual has done. You can’t connect the dots as a parent. So it’s important to
notify the authorities, it’s important to make a report because again, it allows them
to take a look at this person. Take a look at their communications and see what else they might be doing and what they’re up to. – Here’s another question, what do we say to our kids,
particularly our daughters about what to do? – You need to be honest with them. – [Mel] Okay. – I really believe you need to, I don’t want to say graphic but you need to explain to ’em exactly what they may experience, what may happen to them and listen if your child has access to the internet they’ve already
seen or heard all of this. But what the may not be–
– At what age should we start talking
to our kids about this? – Soon as you’re putting
your child on the internet. If you’re giving them
unsupervised time on a computer they have access to all
of it, it’s out there. And it’s scary. – It’s very scary. Up next, we’re talking
to a family about sexting and my advice to parents may surprise you. We’ll be right back. (audience clapping) (dramatic music) – Up next. – When I went on my
granddaughter’s Instagram page what I saw was grown men
sending her messages. – Have you ever sent or
received sexual texts messages with anyone? Okay, what’s upsetting you sweetheart? – What’s upsetting because. – You’re here because
we all wanna help you. Okay. (audience clapping) And later, I’m exposing another digital danger you cannot afford to miss. Our 25 year old production
assistant created a profile, she used hashtags tween and middle school, the first two followers
were middle aged men. (audience clapping)
(upbeat music) Welcome back. We’ve been talking about
social media predators and the dangers our
kids are facing online. And one thing you’ve heard me
say loud and clear is this, you as the parent have got to get in front of this. And you’ve also got to keep
the communication lines open with your kids. And that’s especially true when it comes to sexting
and inappropriate videos. Just ask 66 year old grandmother Drema who was uncomfortable with
what she saw her granddaughter doing online so she got involved. (dramatic music) – My name is Drema and I’m very, very worried
about my granddaughter Aaliyah, who’s just turned 15. She’s all over social media and doing things that I don’t approve of. I’m 66 years old and yes, I am old school and I know this generation
has changed so, so much since I grew up. But she need to calm down on that phone. We don’t live close and
that’s very hard for me. I’m retired in California and she lives with her mom in Ohio. But I always try to check up on her. Lately my grandma intuition
has been going off. And I asked a family friend
to check Aaliyah’s phone and the things she found freaked me out. I feel so helpless living
so far away from her and I love her with all my heart. I just know that we have to
catch her before she falls. Mel, can you help me get
through to my granddaughter and let her know if she is
not careful on social media it could ruin her life? – That just made you really emotional. What came up for you? – Just things. I just want her to be safe and there’s so many things that can go on on social media that she could get into that she couldn’t handle. – Yes, yes. – [Drema] A lot of things could go wrong. – That’s true. – So I went on my
granddaughter’s Instagram page and what I saw on there was grown men sending her messages. And then there was a video of her cussing so I’m like, “Okay,
wait, wait, wait, wait, “no, no, no, no, no.” I call her up, I’m like, “What are doing?” “You can’t do that.” “Take it down.” So she apologized said,
“I’m sorry, Grandma.” She listened to me and
she did take it down but things are getting worse. – So when your grandmother
intuition went off you saw a video of her cussing and then you called a
friend and they took a look. There were grown men that
were reaching out to her. – On her Instagram page. – [Mel] On her Instagram page. – Yeah. – So Aaliyah, obviously you’re
here talking to Mel Robbins. Your grandma is worried. What’s the story behind this for you? – When I was cussing on
live and stuff like that was because I was mad about something ’cause one of our friends had like jumped. – Okay. – And we saw it and we
was trying to like run and try to help her and stuff. And try to find, figure out who it was. – All right, so that was
the cussing video, right. – [Drema] That was just cussing. – Okay. (laughing) So you were cussing up
a storm on Facebook, Grandma calls and says, “Take it down.” – Yes.
– And you listen, which is excellent. But tell me about the sexting, have you ever sent or
received sexual text messages with anyone? – No, except for– – [Mel] Go ahead hon. – That boy. – Okay, so tell me about what the boy did. – When he was a close friend of mine’s. – [Mel] Yeah. – He came over one time. – Yeah. – It was all of us, all our friends. – [Mel] Yeah. – And stuff and then
they went home, we left. Then he started texting me,
talking about he’s gonna (beep) and all this stuff. And I said, “No, no you’re not.” – How old is this boy? – He was the same age as me actually. – Okay, so are you 15, 14? – I was 14.
– At the time. – Yes.
– Okay. – And then my friend’s saying
like, “Oh, he’s texting, “he’s asking what are you doing.” And all this stuff and I’m like, “Why is he worried about it?” And then that’s when her mom was like, “You need to delete him, block
him, stop talking to him.” And stuff so I did it
and then I left it alone. – Okay. So did you ever talk to your mom about it? – Yeah, I did get a
chance to talk to my mom. She talked to me about it and stuff. It was when she, when we was
going, we went to go visit her and my mom had found out and she talked to me about it. And I was like, “Mom,
I’m trying to change.” “I’m trying to do better.” – Okay, what’s upsetting you sweetheart? – What’s upsetting because. – It’s okay. It’s okay. – You’re here because
we all want to help you. Okay.
(audience clapping) And you’re very brave
to be talking about this and here’s the thing I
don’t think that parents and grandparents fully
understand the pressure socially. – Relax, relax, relax. – Now I don’t think a
young boy should be saying that to you at the age of 14 but when he puts it into a text for us as adults it feels more serious. What I’m trying to wrap my brain around is that this is how kids communicate. We’re going through a completely
different shift in culture and so it’s more important than ever that we’re able to have conversations because for us it ended
when we left the party. And we only faced the bullying
when we were at school. For kids they can never escape it. She can block this kids but now he’s going to her friends. And so this is the reality of the pressure that you’re feeling.
– Right. – And you know, when we come back, I want to bring your dad out because he’s been listening. And I want to talk about
in particular the sexting. And what I want every parent
to start to think about when we come back.
(gentle music) (audience clapping) (dramatic music) Next. – Things that you post,
that stuff is permanent. It stays with you for
the rest of your life. I’m always here, always. I love you so much. – Thank you, Grandma. – And later, it’s the digital danger that made the FBI’s most wanted list. Somebody that knows
how to use it could see that you’re available to send stuff to and you don’t even realize. – Yes. – Ew. (gentle music)
(audience clapping) Welcome back, I’m here with
Aaliyah, her grandmother Drema and now her father
Christopher is here too. So Christopher, dad’s are
often the last to know, did you have any clue about the fact that this kids was texting her? – Well, I slightly knew about
Aaliyah’s social activity but you know, me and
her mom is not together. You know, I commute back and
forth from state to state. I keep tabs on Aaliyah. Her mother is very sickly so you know, it’s kinda hard to keep
tabs on her social activity. Aaliyah’s smart, caring, and you know. – [Mel] This upsets you. – Yes. – So what’s coming up for you? – Well, you know, therapy for both of us. That’s a start. – [Mel] Yeah. – And keep track of her phone. And I know she’s smart enough
to make the right decision. And her grandmother, I’m
glad she stepped up to this– (drowned out by audience applause) – Yes, excellent. You know, I think that it’s true, you are smart enough to
make the right decision. I do want to underscore
and I’m happy to say that you are gonna seek some therapy and we have a health care
professional backstage, who is gonna talk to
all of you after this. – Okay. – But one of the things
that has been profound for me to think about is that this is also occurring as our kids are going through puberty. And as we are becoming sexualized and as we really are craving attention. And so it’s almost like throwing gasoline on a fire that’s already burning inside of every single teenager. When you then add the ability
to communicate nonstop with other kids your age. Now the Facebook page concerns me, in terms of the strangers that are adults that are reaching out to you. And I think that’s
something where you should go through it with your parents and block people.
– Delete it, yeah. (audience clapping) – And that if that’s what’s happening that in order to protect you that’s what’s important. But what I want parents to understand is that while our kids are
smart and well-intentioned their brains aren’t fully
developed till they’re 25. And she’s got a lot of growing to do and there’s a ton of impulsivity that comes with this age. And so this is why it’s
so important as parents that you’re doing what you guys are doing. That when you sense somethings
up you raise a red flag. – That’s why I noticed that Aaliyah had four, five different accounts, which she didn’t know I knew about. And I looked into it. – I have (mumbles). – And that’s set off a red flag for me. – Yes. – And you know, I know the internet is really dangerous for her and I have to protect her at all times. – Yes. And it’s not uncommon for kids
to have multiple accounts. They call it having a fake Insta. So if your kids calling it a finsta, that’s a fake Instagram account that mom and dad don’t know about. Same thing with Snapchat,
you can have private stories. And so one of the things to understand is that there is a line between her being able to express
herself with her friends and her being safe. – Exactly. – So I want you to give your parents and your grandmother full access. Because here’s the thing, if you’re not comfortable with them seeing it you
shouldn’t be posting it. (audience clapping) And that is going to train
you to stop and think, which is the hardest thing in the world for a teenage brain to do. You’re not alone in this, okay. Now when you see something inappropriate don’t comment online, call her, talk to her in person. And if she comes to talk to you, would you be willing to have
a conversation with her? – [Christopher] Oh, yeah. – Oh, definitely. – Awesome. Do you want to add anything? – Only thing I wanna say to you, I love you so much. – I love you too.
(audience clapping) – I want you to make better choices because things that you post or things that you message to someone they could take that and put
it all over social media. That stuff is permanent. It stays with you for
the rest of your life. So you’re at the age you need to make better choices, wise choices. And for something you don’t
understand I’m always here. Always. (audience clapping) – What would you like to say sweetheart? – I would like to say thank you, Grandma and thank you Father. (audience clapping) – I love you. – This is part of growing up
making mistakes, learning. What else you wanna say hon? – Thank you all for like supporting me and helping me. – [Drema] Can I say one thing? – Yes, you may. – This young lady right here has a 4.0–
– Yeah. – Whoa. – Average.
(audience clapping) And her goal. Her goal is to go to
college and be a biologist. – Yes. – Fantastic. And there is no doubt in
my mind that you will. All right.
(audience clapping) – Yeah. – Awesome. I’m proud of you. Awesome. We’ll be right back. (upbeat music) (dramatic music) Up next. Why is TikTok such a red flag? If your settings are not correct somebody that knows how to use it could see that you’re
available to send stuff to and you don’t even realize it. – Right. (gentle music)
(audience clapping) – Welcome back. Today we’re talking
about internet predators and the kids they prey on. Joining me now is Katie Gree, who’s a former director of internet safety and an intelligence analyst for the Massachusetts State Police. (audience clapping) Okay, so Katie my kids are on TikTok. – Oh, boy.
– I’m not as worried about the 20 and the 19 year old but the 14 year old. Why is TikTok such a red flag? – It’s a giant lure for kids, right. It’s fun, it’s exciting. Your kids are on it,
you know how that goes. One of the issues with TikTok is that you go on and the default setting is you’re automatically public. So when we talk about and think about the
demographic of younger kids, I know I have seven and eight year olds if they’re on TikTok they’re first thought when they join this would not be, hey, let me go change my
public setting to private. So right out of the gate they are exposed to millions, actually
over a billion strangers on this one app alone. – For those of you that don’t know TikTok is a platform where kids can
create short little videos. – Right. – And the thing that’s
really appealing about it that makes it really sticky and fun is you can put all
kinds of special effects on these videos without
being a video editor. – Sure. – So it’s super easy to use. And they create all these
videos and share them. And I understand that TikTok in particular, pedophiles have
their own secret language. And to better understand this, I know that you’re gonna
just shake your head ’cause you’re gonna know how easy this is. Our 25 year old production
assistant created a profile just for this show, she
wrote that she was 13. We used a filter to make her look younger. She started to put up a couple videos that just mimic the kind of videos that kids were using. And then here’s the thing, she used hashtags tween and middle school. Now when you use a hashtag
to describe a photo it allows somebody to search for it ’cause you just search for the hashtag. Guess what? The first two followers
were middle aged men on her profile. – Yeah, I’m not surprised. I mean this is like, there’s no effort just to search for this stuff and to be able to be in contact
with thousands of people in an instant specifically kids. – So I understand that the answer isn’t, you can’t use TikTok because they’re gonna use it anyway. And then they’re gonna stop
talking to you about it. – Right. – So what should kids be doing and what can parents do? – So a couple of things
and really basic things, this is our problem of
our generation, right. This is the thing we think our kids are not gonna be functioning
members of society but we got this. Number one, know your apps. I don’t need you to know all the filters or how to use this DM functionality. Just know what they are
and know if it’s possible that they can communicate
with strangers, right. Number two, as we had
already talked about, talk early and often. My seven and eight year old
don’t even have phones yet much less access to social media. (audience clapping) But you know, we’re
having this conversation every single day about social media and my expectations
and stories that happen in an age appropriate way of course. And then number three, know your settings. There are a lot of settings
that can help you out whether they’re parental controls. – There are two important ones. – Yeah. So one setting is location services, if you go into the settings of your phone actually, most apps have
access to our location and our kids location on any
device that they’re using. So shut that off for anything that doesn’t need a GPS to function. And number two, privacy settings, whether it’s in games, whether it’s in social media, using these privacy settings so that your kids only have access to the people that you personally know. – Well, when we come back, I will reveal the digital danger that is on the FBI’s most wanted list. Stay with us. (upbeat music)
(audience clapping) (upbeat music) Welcome back. We’ve been talking with Katie Gree from the Massachusetts State Police. And the whole show today is
about social media predators that every parent needs to know about and the dangers that our
kids are facing online. So I understand that there
are some digital dangers that are at the FBI’s most wanted list. So what are those? – Yeah, so sextortion is a big focus, they just rolled out a campaign, the FBI in September with a big focus on this. Specifically pertaining to
gaming, apps, and platforms, you know, Fortnite, Minecraft, Roblox, where these kids are playing
these games a lot, right, for a long time. And they’re also live chatting so I know there was a case
out of New Jersey recently where 24 men I think were
just recently arrested as part of a online sting where they were soliciting undercover cops through these gaming platforms. So it’s a problem. – You also have a warning
for a new app as well. – I do. Yeah, so Snap Map is a part of Snapchat and it has been for a little while now. – [Mel] Snap Map. – Snap Map. – I know what this is.
– Uh-oh. Yeah, the lights.
– I’ve seen this. – Yes. – So this is the map that comes up–
– Yes. – And all the sudden you
can see the little emojis of all the people that you’re friends with on Snapchat exactly where they are. I’ve never figured out how to get to it but my kids I’ve seen them pull it up and be like, “Oh, so-and-so’s
at the grocery store.” – Of course. – They can actually see where you are and your little face is right there too. – Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, your little Bitmoji is right there. And actually it’s gotten so advanced that it now can track whether
like we’re sitting here just stationary or if I
go get in a car after this it will show that I’m in a car. – [Mel] You’re moving. – It will show the music I’m listening to if I connect it to that as well. – [Mel] To Spotify, yes. – It’s very dangerous. – Okay.
– Yes. – How do you disconnect this? – Okay, so there’s a couple settings, one setting is that your
friends can only see this. And in my opinion, if I’m
contacting you on Snapchat I can tell you where I am. I don’t need you to follow me on map. – [Mel] Agree. – So my preference for
adults and especially kids is putting this on ghost mode. Which means no one can follow
your whereabouts on Snapchat. It is a really, really
creepy and scary thing, especially for parents. Another one Mel, I’ll share with you. – [Mel] Uh-oh. – I know, last one. When we can AirDrop things to each other. – Yes. – So–
– I do it all the time with photos.
– It’s great. – It’s a great feature. – Yes.
– Right. But with this there are also people if you don’t use your
settings the right way that can AirDrop things to you– – Hold on, I’m getting my settings out. Okay, what do I do? – Can AirDrop things to you so if we’re not, I don’t
have your contact number. – Right.
– But if I am seating here with my phone and you don’t
have your AirDrop settings on, I can just AirDrop you any old picture so there are reports that– – Ew. – Predators or perpetrators are doing this and just sending these
random pictures to kids on school buses and in airports. – I understand it’s called cyber flashing. – Yes, exactly. So–
– Got ya. Well, so can I ask a question– – Sure.
– To try to explain this. – Sure. – So if you’ve ever gone to a public space and you’ve been looking to
join the public WiFi, right. And then you see a bunch
of options available. – Right. – What you’re saying is that
if your settings on AirDrop, which is in embedded in your phone. – Right. – Are not correct. – [Katie] Right. – Somebody that knows how to use it could see that you’re
available to send stuff to and you don’t even realize it. – Right, that’s right. And they can just send it right to you and it’ll pop right up there. And like I said when we’re talking about kids receiving these pictures from random perpetrators
then we have some big issues. The good news though, is
that you can change this. So in your settings make
sure that only your contacts can send you AirDrop. – Gotcha.
– That other people outside of that can’t. – So going to ghost mode on Snapchat. – Yes, please.
– And I’m making sure only my friends–
– That’s right. – And contacts can contact me on AirDrop.
– On AirDrop. – Katie, we are gonna have back ’cause we’re gonna talk a lot about this. – Thanks. – We are living in the digital age and it’s really important that you understand the realities of it. And what you can do to protect
yourself and your kids. We’ll be right back. (upbeat music)
(audience clapping) (upbeat music)
(audience clapping) Welcome back. Today’s show was really important and so I wanna sum up
the three big takeaways. First of all, social media
is the new playground that we were worried about
protecting our kids on. But the thing that changed is that adults are now disguised as kids. Second, the crime is sextortion. Once predators have the
images that they need they can extort your kids for more. And third, nothing has
changed about puberty. Kids are sexually charged at this age and kids are not going to
tell you what’s going on. So you need to be on top of this and have the conversations
that you’re afraid to have. You have to be responsible, you gotta respect yourself when it comes to sexual activities, whether it’s offline or on. Now I’m gonna put up the resources again. And I wanna thank all of my guests who have been here today. And finally, in case nobody
else has told you today, let me be the one to tell you that I believe in you and your ability to change
your life for the better. And that’s why I’m here cheering
for you five days a week and reminding you that whatever
it is that you’re facing you’ve got this. I’ll see you next time. (audience clapping)
(upbeat music)


20 thoughts on “Full Episode: Social Media Predators | The Mel Robbins Show”

  • This is even greater than sextortion! These predators will use family photos and use them to manipulate children by threatening to harm the ones they love so much.

  • The three of them were weak earlier but POWERFUL now to come out and share the story with the world… That takes a shit ton of courage… I hope they use the power now gained to CHANGE THE WORLD!!! Good luck girls!! And thank you Mel and Team! Thanks a lot!!

  • Andrea Bellinger says:

    In my line of work, I used to see kids (about 19 to 20 years old…still kids to me : ) that had become victims of financial crimes on line. The saddest part was sometimes parents would refuse to help saying he/she "should have known better." Why would they know better? They only know better if someone teaches them.
    Even though my daughter heard all my stories about predators online, she still had problems. What helped? Checking my kids phone. People act like I'm crazy when I tell them that I check my kids phone. Kids simply don't have the tools to fight back and protect themselves, so we must protect them and fight for them. Great show! Much needed education for families! ❤️

  • Betty Boo's Sister says:

    I don't have children BUT if anyone did that to my child…I would give them a LIVE se* change…without sedatives….

  • I'm a 64yof. Didnt have a clue about half of this. Thank you so much for " shining the light". To all that contribute to this information…thank you. Gods Speed ?

  • The media portrays everything in a sexual way from tv shows advertising etc this generation has grown up thinking
    The only way they will succeed in life or have friends is by exposing themselves posting sexy photos . Society has made it hard to not be able to control this because it’s taken our parenting rights away . If we say don’t dress this way our teens just tell us to F off

  • Tamintris Robinson says:

    Not blaming anyone, you girls has to be careful of their vocative photos on Instagram Facebook when they are between the ages of 13 and 16 and looking like they’re 27 to 32 they really had to take accountability for their actions parents must watch their photos the children’s photos that they’re placing on these social media sites young girls are developing faster than I’ve seen and I’m 54 and they’re developing more than than normal so they have to be careful because they look older and sexual predators are everywhere the children so young girls be careful of what you post

  • I saw this on television for the first time today. I'm glad to see someone use their platform to bring more attention to this issue. If you're buying your child(ren) phones, tablets or giving them access to computers, you have all rights to observe what's going on. Let them get mad, they'll get over it. Try to create & keep the line of communication between you & them open.. The same energy you use to catch your man or woman cheating or suspected of cheating. Use & invest the same energy in the minor children. Sometimes checking the adult children is necessary, if need be. Be careful out here yall…

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