Instagram is the most popular social network for kids under 18, with 32% citing it as their favorite platform, compared to only 14% for Facebook, and 13% for Snapchat. Unfortunately, some of these teens knowingly set their profiles to "public" and add questionable hashtags to their photos, in order to gain as many "likes" and followers as possible--even from complete strangers. These circumstances have provided predators with ample ground to search for, interact with, and exploit youth on Instagram.

We created a DM experience that specifically intercepts online predators precisely at a private moment when they think it's safe to search for, and target, vulnerable youth. We seeded fictitious teen photos onto Instagram using popular youth hashtags that predators search for. The predators who tried to connect with the teens of our hashtagged photos encountered our fictitious profile, which used Instagram's grid to make it look like the potential predators were now viewing our teen photos from behind jail cell bars. These photos were reposted throughout the course of the campaign to keep them topical in the search results.