Sexual predators are using social media to lure tween and teen victims by fooling them with promises of curing them of eating disorders…
Sexual predators surely take advantage of social media to exploit and manipulate the most vulnerable online. Unsurprisingly, one such nefarious group are typically middle-aged, males who find victims online. A prime example is a collection of creeps who offer anorexia coaching or so-called “anacoaches.” Of course, there are obviously others who lure tweens and teens by posing as coaches who can cure other eating disorders.
Sexual Predators are Targeting Vulnerable Teens on Social Media by Offering ‘Anorexia Coaching’
Twitter alone accounts for approximately 300 unique requests for anacoaches per day, around the world. Seeing that the microblog only has 330+ million users, Facebook is likely facing the same problem, but on a much grander scale. Other social sites are also prime hunting grounds, including TikTok, Tumblr, and Kik.
Phony anorexia coaches and others are fully aware of how these platforms work and even use hashtags to attract vulnerable people, such as #proana (pro-anorexia), #bonespo (bone inspiration), #edtw (eating disorder trigger warning), #promia (pro bulimia), #bulimia, #thighgap, #uw (ultimate weight), #cw (current weight), and #gw (goal weight).
Victims are often required to share personal photos and videos, including nude body checks, weekly weigh-ins, and more. Some predators also attempt to set up real-world meetings with their targets.