In an effort to warn other social media users, a US father has released screenshots of a predatory advance on his seven-year-old daughter via popular social media app musical.ly.
Brad Summers from Illinois explains “This post is meant as a warning call to others that let their children use this app.”
The horrifying exchange between the girl and the predator posing as a nine-year-old is revealed in the photos and echoes the dangers parents face with social media.
The text conversation on the lip-dubbing app starts off friendly but quickly changes. When the young girl sends a photo of herself smiling to the person, he replies asking for one “without t-shirt”.
When the girl denies the request stating that “my mom said I can’t”, the person insists saying “it’s a secret between us only”.
The person continues to ask for pictures until Summer’s responds, “I am her father and I am a police officer. We have documented you IP address and location. I recommend that you refrain from any other contact”.
Since sharing the story on Facebook, Summers has issued an update to the post: “The detective has found the IP address of this person and has submitted a supeona to this app to freeze all records pertaining to this person (s). They are continuing to make progress!”
The chilling incident acts as a reminder for parents to be cautious when allowing children to engage with their friends online. Summers explains that "Our daughter does not have a phone of her own. This app was on one of our phones for use when we were around. She used this app to connect with her cousins and make goofy duets of songs together. We have accepted friends of theirs and our daughter believed this was another one. I never thought of someone pretending to be 9 to gain access to my child. We live and learn and I continue to do so everyday as a parent."
If you or someone you know needs help, you can speak confidentially to a trained counsellor 24 hours a day at headspace.org.au or Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800.
This article originally appeared on New Idea.