Meredith Steele Wiki
Meredith Steele Biography
Meredith Steele, a 35-year-old mother of two, is warning parents to stop sharing photos of their children online after her family was “digitally kidnapped.”
The terrifying phenomenon occurs when a stranger steals a parent’s social media snaps to use for their own accounts and live a fake life online.
“My children had new names and new identities,” Steele said of the ordeal. “They [the culprit] had made their own captions and made their own lives. It was like they were playing with Barbie dolls, but the dolls were my children.”
“This changed my mind about sharing my stuff online,” the Maine mom told South West News Service. “Mom blog culture normalizes sharing too much intimate personal details about their kids and they’re not old enough to agree or disagree with that.”
“This changed my mind about sharing my stuff online,” the Maine mom continued. “Mom blog culture normalizes sharing too much intimate personal details about their kids and they’re not old enough to agree or disagree with that.”
Steele first became aware that her children had been digitally abducted in June 2021, when she was having dinner celebrating her son’s preschool graduation. At that time, she took a sweet family photo of her and posted it on Instagram.
After the meal, a family friend who worked at the restaurant noticed two photos of the family tagged on the restaurant’s Instagram account, but Steele did not post one.
The friend immediately contacted Steele to inform him that her family photos were being shared on a separate account by a stranger who had formed her own fictional family out of real-life images of her mother.
“It was absolutely horrible,” Steele recalled, claiming that the impostor account had taken nearly 30 of the photos of her and created its own following of thousands of her by writing fake captions about special family memories.
“These people have an emotional investment in my family,” the mother said. “I don’t know who it was… [but] it was a real rape.”
Research on digital kidnapping found that most of the participants are adolescent girls and young women who use the photos to role-play in a virtual game of fictional motherhood.
The legality of digital kidnapping isn’t exactly clear, but it could result in an actual cybercrime like identity theft of the child.
Steele, who constantly shared photos of her family and her daily life on her public Instagram page, immediately reported the fake account, but the social media company took no immediate action. The mother was eventually forced to block the account.
“I felt like a bad mother,” she lamented herself, admitting that she had no idea about Internet safety when she began sharing photos of her young children. .
“I learned this the hard way,” she further warned in a viral TikTok video about digital kidnapping. “It may sound dramatic, until it comes to her children.”
Steele has maintained his large social media following with 923,200 followers on TikTok and 157,000 followers on Instagram, but he has since removed all photos of his children’s faces from social media and makes sure to tag their location only. hours after leaving a place.
The mother has now banned her children from having their own social media accounts and no longer grants permission for school and summer camps to take pictures of the children.
But while many people love to overshare the personal details of their children’s lives online, Steele encourages them to rethink so they don’t have to go through what she did.
“I want to protect other people so they don’t feel that way,” he declared. “These young children cannot consent to be at that level of exposure.”
“You’ll never see my kids’ faces on my social media again,” the mortified mom continued, before adding that her experience helped her “have healthier boundaries” when it comes to social media.