Trigger warning: contains discussions of child abuse.
Social media was invented for sharing baby photos — or so it sometimes seems.
But while it’s mostly about the cute factor, there is a more sinister side. It’s called baby role-playing and it has taken off on photosharing sites such as Instagram.
In baby role-playing, people steal photos of babies, and in some cases, older children, from social media sites and make them the subject of a role-playing game.
There are even virtual ‘adoption agencies’ where role-players invent names for the babies, along with physical details, such as birth weight, and also how the child came to be in the adoption agency.
Other people will then ‘adopt’ the children so they can create their dream family. In an open role-play, known as #openrp, anyone on Instragram can then chip in with what happens to the child.