Please, Please Be Careful
I received a PM from another EP member who started out telling me that they had enjoyed reading my stories here. Then they proceeded to mention one about my son and his attachment to his belly button. All seemed innocent enough. Then they asked if I had a picture of his belly button that I could send them. They claimed to not know what an "outie" was.
That sent my mothering red flags off. I politely stated that "No, I don't have a picture. Google the term and I'm sure you can learn all about it."
I told a couple of calm, well-reasoned EP friends about it and they agreed that something was probably not right. I went to the person's profile. I found no friends, no experiences, no stories, nothing. Maybe the PM was completely innocent, but I flagged the profile and told EP what had happened and what was requested.
I hope that I was wrong. I only flagged in the hopes that if the person is indeed a ********* and is reported by someone else, that my flagging will allow EP to take action sooner.
I told several people in my circle about the event because they have pics of their children posted in "friends" only albums on EP and they write stories about their kids. I would hate to think of a ********* trolling through my EP circle looking for potential targets, but we all know it can happen.
So, I decided to post this story. I'm not going to mention the name of the profile and I'm not trying to start a witch hunt. I AM trying to warn every parent on EP to be cautious and careful about posting pictures of your kids here and if someone's interest in your child seems inappropriate, don't ignore your feelings. Check the EP profile out and report anyone that seems suspicious.
Update: I received another PM from this same person. This time asking me to become their friend on Flickr.com so that we can share photos. It's been a month an a half since they first asked for pics of my son's belly button. I just checked their profile and they still have no friends, no experiences, and no stories. So once again, I will notify EP and ask them to check it out. I'm sure I'm not the only person they have sent such PMs to and EP should be able to track that. Please continue to be careful.