COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - WINK News has new information about a frightening social media trend that's sexually exploiting children in Collier County. Detectives say teenagers are posting naked pictures of other teens on Instagram. Some of the girls are so distraught, some of them have talked about suicide.
"If you don't think your kid is on there doing something think again," said Sgt. Wade Williams with the Collier County Sheriff's Office.
Collier detectives say teenage boys are posting naked pictures of girls from several local high schools to the social media website Instagram. Deputies say in some instances the sexual images are stolen. In other instances, ex-boyfriends of the teens maliciously post the explicit images of their ex-girlfriends.
"They made a mistake by sending an image of themselves that is lewd, or partially dressed to an individual and then that person uses that image for a very evil purpose," said Sgt. Williams.
Detectives say this isn't only a form of extreme cyberstalking because of the embarrassment it causes the girls. Its also considered a felony because most of the girls are underage.
"We do not believe that these young people understand that what they're doing is distributing child pornography," said Sgt. Williams.
Wink News found out several of the Instagram accounts are based on the fictional thriller movie, The Purge, where crime is legal for 12 hours. Detectives say on the fake accounts, the teens are trying to get the girls to purge naked pictures of themselves. One account even threatens the girls saying "if she doesn't send nude photos of herself than other nude photos of her would be posted."
"While to an adult this may not affect them as much," said Sgt. Williams. "But to a child, to a young person who's growing, who's in high school these can be very very damaging and devastating to them."
In one case, a girl so was upset her mother told deputies the suspects might be trying to bully her daughter into possibly committing suicide. Detectives have contacted Instagram to take down the accounts. Deputies are asking parents to closely monitor which websites their kids visit and to have their passwords. They're also asking the public to report any criminal websites to the Collier County Sheriff's Office.