Minister: Don’t share pictures of your kids on social media

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim warned parents not to post and upload their babies or children on social media. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim warned parents not to post and upload their babies or children on social media. — Picture by Choo Choy May

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SABAK BERNAM, June 5 — Pictures of children on social media posted by their parents will have the tendency to attract sexual predators, a minister warned today.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said parents should be wary about sharing pictures of their toddlers as they would not know who would be misusing them.

“I want to warn parents not to post and upload their babies or children on social media. These pictures were siphoned into the paedophile web group,” she told reporters here today, referring to the recently exposed local paedophile group on the Telegram messaging application.

“So parents, be very careful. They (parents) will use their pictures (of children) innocently and then you will find their (children’s) pictures on the sex paedophile group page,” she added.

Rohani also said once the photographs of children are spread on social media by sex offenders, it would be hard to pin down the origin of the pictures.

“They are sick people. But we can’t trace who these sick people are so we want parents to take precautions when posting the pics of their children.

“If we can find the guys of this group, we can counsel them and all, but we can’t find them. That’s the problem,” the Batang Lupar MP said.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has already set up a special committee to investigate claims about a local paedophile group on Telegram that was revealed by social activist Syed Azmi Alhabshi.

His exposé came about after the UK press reported that British photographer Richard Huckle, 30, had confessed to 71 sexual offences, including rape and sexual assault, against 22 girls and boys aged between six months and 12-years-old in Kuala Lumpur, and a Cambodian child. The child sex crimes were committed between 2006 and 2014.

Huckle, who is believed to have abused up to 200 children, took pictures and video footage of himself abusing the children, which he uploaded to the so-called dark web ― a hard to access part of the Internet often used for illegal activity.

Investigators found over 20,000 indecent images on his computer, while Huckle also kept a ledger of his attacks and wrote a manual called Paedophiles And Poverty: Child Lover Guide.

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