KANSAS CITY, Mo. - If you could get away with anything for a 12 hour period, free of consequences, what would you do? A new horror film opening tomorrow considers this question.
For some teens, the answer is to post risqué or downright obscene photos and malicious commentary on social media. Except unlike in the movies, these actions have real-life consequences, as some area teens are learning today.
Inspired by the horror film “Purge: Anarchy” opening tomorrow, dozens of Facebook pages and Instagram hashtags are spawning across social media urging users to post anything, expose anything, and say anything for a 12 or 24-hour period.
Some of these pages, including a now-removed “Purge KC” Facebook page, have attracted police attention when underage users post naked photos of themselves or others.
One Johnson County, Kansas, mother, who asked to remain anonymous to protect her teenage daughter from retribution, told WCPO news partner KSHB she saw a photo of a girl she recognized, exposed, on the page on Thursday. She alerted the police.
“It’s disturbing to see,” that mother said in an interview Thursday. “You know, it’s also disturbing that there's not parents monitoring their children's social media activity.”
Police contacted the girl’s parents and the photo was removed. A Shawnee, Kan., police official said the girl would not be charged with any crime. She was guilty only of poor judgment.
Meanwhile, with the film set to debut in many cities at midnight Thursday, #PurgeNight and similar hashtags are flooding Instagram with photos, and accounts like KCPurge are posting obscene photos to thousands of followers.
Neither Universal Pictures nor Blumhouse Productions, who produce the “Purge” films, responded to request for comment on Thursday.
“This is on the Internet. It’s in ink. It’s not in pencil. You can't erase it,” the Johnson County mother warned. “Once it’s out there, it’s out there.”