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19th Mar 2024

‘We live in a very disgusting world’ – Mum highlights the sinister side of sharing children online

Jody Coffey


“She will look back at this video and thank you for protecting her”

Posting children online is common among many parents.

While it shouldn’t be a cause for concern, unfortunately, in this day and age, it comes with more risks than reward.

One mum has gone viral for her decision to stop posting her daughter on social media, and she is urging other parents to do the same.

Samantha Kastenholt (@samanthakastenholtt) highlighted the sinister side of ‘innocently’ posting her family’s daily lives.

“We live in a very disgusting world”

Last month, an investigation by the New York Times yielded some disturbing findings about parent-run accounts sharing content of their children online.

According to the report, these accounts on apps like Instagram have garnered a large following of adult men who express sexual interest in minors.

Samantha’s decision to halt all content related to her daughter came as the reactions to her content, sadly, back up the findings of this investigation.

The mum shared in a now-viral clip that after five years of getting pregnant and two rounds of IVF, she was understandably ‘so proud’ to show off her ‘miracle baby’ online.

However, overtime Samantha began to notice an unsettling trend emerge on the posts, which has prompted her and her husband to make an important decision.

“My husband and I came to a decision today that we’re no longer going to show our daughter Seven’s face anymore.” She explained

“We’ve had a long talk about this, and I just feel like we live in a very disgusting world.”

@samanthakastenholtt Encouraging more mom influencers to do the same ❤️ #momsoftiktok #baby ♬ original sound – Samantha Kastenholt

“I get messages every day about her and there’s people saying ‘I am in love with your baby'”

Samantha went on to reveal some of the unnerving responses she received anytime she shared her daughter on her account.

“There are so many gross people out there and the saves on my videos kept getting higher and higher.

“I get comments and messages saying, ‘Hey, I wish your daughter would someday marry my son, they’re around the same age’, like, it’s gotten too much.

“This is only the bare minimum. I’m not even going to go into detail about other messages I have got, or comments, or shares, and people following.”

The mum explained that she created a private Instagram account solely for her daughter, which now has over 600 friend requests.

The inbox for this account, Samantha adds, also has incoming messages from men.

“She’s not even one years old, she’s a baby. It is just so disgusting and I can’t take it anymore.

“Anytime I post a picture or video of her, in the back of my head I’m thinking, ‘What is going to happen with this video?’

“If you take away the disgusting people in the world, there is also a huge issue with AI.”

While Samantha admits that she doesn’t understand the full consequences of AI, she said she feels more comfortable not showing her face because of it.

For this reason, the only people she will allow to see her daughter are close friends and family.

She revealed that she receives tens of thousands of likes for a photo of her child, while she’s ‘lucky’ to get a thousand for one of herself, further highlighting the exposure that comes with posting her daughter on social media.

“It just shows the absolute obsession people have with her. There’s a real issue here and I think social media really makes it to where you feel too close.”

Many parents have applauded Samantha’s decision

While the mum has gained popularity online for sharing her family life, her followers were quick to commend her choice to protect her daughter.

Many parents in the comment section of the post also admitted to phasing out social media where their children are concerned.

“I’m studying cyber security, you’re doing the right thing mama,” one wrote.

“Smart choice. Especially with AI. They will take the face a generate the picture however they want,” another added.

“I can tell you now with the utmost certainty she will look back at this video and thank you for protecting her,” a third commented.

“When I was 6 months pregnant I deleted everyone I didn’t personally know from my social media and made everything private. best decision I could have made and I’m still nervous to show my baby,” one user confessed.

“You are doing absolutely the right thing. Sharing your perspective and taking accountability for the digital footprint. You are truly doing her a service,” another wrote.