CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Did you know that by the age of two, 90 percent of children already have a presence on social media?
Of course, parents love to share photos of their little ones online. However, police and child rescue groups warn some of those more intimate photos are being saved and shared by pedophiles who search for hashtags like #bathtime and #pottytraining.
"There could be total strangers searching for these hashtags that on purpose looking for children that are depicted in the nude," said Carly Yoost.
She's the CEO of the Child Rescue Coalition which just launched a campaign called Kids For Privacy. Their goal is to get parents to stop posting photos that overexpose children under hashtags like #nakedkids. They’re tracking millions of pedophiles who are searching social media for those key words on a daily basis.
"It is an easy way for them to gain access to children. These bath time images, which in the wrong eyes could be viewed in a very sexual way, it would technically be legal for them to possess,” said Yoost.
Many of the predators aren’t just saving and sharing the images. They’re seeking them out in real life.
“We have had investigators who have seen, where they are stalking a child that they’ve seen through social media platforms,” Yoost said.
In Charlotte alone, the Child Rescue Coalition is currently tracking 76 individual computers that contain nude images of children, more than a thousand others statewide -- from child pornography to potty and bathtime photos shared publicly by unsuspecting parents.
The Kids for Privacy campaign is urging everyone to post photos holding signs that say, "Privacy please," using the key words pedophiles are searching.
"We’re taking back and flooding these hashtags that are over exposing children,” said Yoost.
Law enforcement agencies are also urging parents to set their social media profiles to private, so strangers can’t easily find and save images of your children.
Dozens of cyclists went on a joy ride through Balboa Park Thursday night as part of the annual Joy Ride event that celebrates improvements done through the year for better biking.
A looming, partial government shutdown would be "stupid" but might be unavoidable if Democrats refuse to support President Donald Trump's proposed border wall with Mexico, the second-ranking House Republican said on Thursday.
Weak Santa Ana winds will continue to breeze through the mountains and foothills tonight before weakening by Friday.
San Diego is no stranger to epic rock and pop concerts. Over the years some of the biggest names in music have made their way through America’s Finest City. While we continue to host legendary acts it’s fun to look back at who has graced our local stages in decades past.
A San Diego veteran is asking for the public’s help after two thieves stole $20,000 worth of tools from his South Bay construction company – a crime that was captured on camera.
A Grinch tried to steal Christmas in Pacific Beach, but residents aren't having it. The tree next to The Catamaran has been a neighborhood tradition for decades, but this year a thief made off with the tree and the decorations.
A jury heard closing arguments Thursday in the case of an ex-cop from Yuma who is accused of raping a Kensington woman in her family's home last year.
The Metropolitan Transit System Board of Directors Thursday announced it is recommending changes to bus and trolley fares for the first time since 2009.