Mom's Huge Mistake About a 'Pedophile' Shows We All Need to Stop Being So Paranoid

woman on facebook

A mom in Australia became a alarmed recently when she saw a strange man snapping photos her kids at the mall. So what did she do? She snapped a photo of the guy, posted it on Facebook, and called him a pedophile to warn other moms.

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The problem? This stranger wasn't a pedophile. He was just a dad snapping a selfie for his own kids of a Star Wars display where the mom's kids happened to be sitting. Aww-kwaard!

Once the dad became aware of the Facebook post, he contacted the police and was cleared of any wrongdoing. Nonetheless, the post had already been shared far and wide, causing a ton of anxiety for the dad -- and a backlash against the mom who made the online accusation, which is below (without the photo):

Ok people, take a look at this creep. Today at Knox he approached my children when they were sitting at the frozen movie in the children's clothing section, he said "hey kids" they looked up and he took a photo, then he said I'm sending this to a 16 yr old. I immediately removed the kids from that area and took them to security at the front so I then followed them and took his picture and he took off. Centre management were straight onto and so are the police, hopefully he is caught. Police said if he is a registered sex offender he will be charged, this happened at Knox, be safe with your kids.

While both mom and dad remain unidentified, the mom has issued a tearful apology for her mistake, and has been suffering too: She's received two death threats, while her kids are in counseling.

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I hafta say, I feel for this mom: If I saw someone talking with my daughter, I'd immediately assume the worst. I also think this goes to show how the media has made some parents paranoid and overprotective; even innocent interactions can seem threatening.

But in any case, when kids are approached by a stranger, I just think it's good parenting to get your kids out of there. I also think it's good parenting to let other moms know about creep, because if you don't and something bad happens to some kid down the line, you'll probably feel really guilty if you felt I could have done something to stop it, right?

That said, when alerting moms to potential trouble, I'd take care to stick to the facts (i.e., "i saw this guy taking a selfie near my kids") rather than overblown conjecture ("this guy is a pedophile"). Because as well meant as your alarm may be, it's no fun to be called a pedophile when you're not.

How do you feel about this mom's mistaken "pedophile" alert?

 

Image via Ttatty/shutterstock

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