3 On Your Side: Instagram Warning
By Diana Rocco
WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) – One local mom is thanking CBS 3 tonight after an investigation into Instagram. 3 On Your Side looked into pornographic images on the site that were easily searchable by children.
“I basically watched “instahorny” grow from 90,000 photos to 120,000,” said the mom who does not wish to be identified.
The hashtags, which would lead you to the explicit and nude photos, have been taken down by Instagram hours after our story aired.
3 On Your Side found nude and sexually explicit photos can be in the palm of your hand, if you know which words to type in. The mom found them on Instragram and disturbed by what her 12-year-old daughter and her middle school friends had access to just by using the smartphone app, she called us (see related story).
“They are walking around with these little cell phones full of pornography. In between a 12-year-old girl in a bathing suit and a 14-year-old girl in a bathing suit is somebody’s penis,” said the mom.
Instagram allows millions of users to upload and share photos, but when you searched hashtags like “instahorny,” “instaboobs,” or “instaporn” what you got were thousands of “suggestive” and nude photos viewed not just by smartphone users but also on iPads, iPods or a home computer.
Monday night, 3 On Your Side aired the story. Tuesday morning that mom reported to us that the explicit terms we flagged were removed from the site.
“I actually typed it into my phone and I kept typing different ones and they were all gone. There was a ton of hashtags that had horny in it and they were all in it and they’re all completely gone. They would all come up and they’re all gone. I was very happy.”
We found the site even went a step further. If you search a term like “anorexic” a warning now comes up – one this mom who’s been trolling the site daily says she’s never seen before.
“I still think they have an obligation to do more. There are users out there that definitely have sexually explicit photos. I’m hoping that eventually this will become a safer site for my daughter.”
Instagram states you must be 13 or older to be on their site and they don’t allow nude or sexually explicit photos. We’ve reached out to Instagram for comment and have not heard back.