According to a social media expert, paedophiles are coming up with new and bizarre ways to befriend children online, including setting up accounts pretending to be chicken nuggets.


The Irish Mirror reports that Dr Maureen Griffin warned parents that perverts were coming up with “new and novel ways of gaining access to children’s information”.


“At primary school level, I have dealt with accounts set up pretending to be chicken nuggets and ice-cream in order to friend children,” she said.


The forensic psychologist was speaking at a talk called Social Media: Challenges for Parents which was run by the Ennis Mental Health Association in Co. Clare, Ireland.



In an even more bizarre case, Dr Griffin said a paedophile set up a Facebook profile in the name of a road outside a girl’s secondary school and added over 400 pupils as friends.


She explained: “Over 400 girls at the school accepted the road as a friend. The owner of the account was a known, convicted sex offender who made no effort to contact the girls. He collected their photos, pictures from teenage discos, girls' sleepovers and selfies".


Dr Griffin warned parents that even apps which were specially designed for children were not always safe as paedophiles had been known to set up accounts on them.


She gave the example of an incident where a young primary school student was befriended by a paedophile on lip-syncing app and tricked into dancing to a song in her underwear.


“She was at primary school. She saw nothing wrong with dancing around her bedroom singing her favourite song but broadcasting that to people you do not know is where the difficulty lies”.


She said primary school children were now moving away from monitored sites such as Club Penguin and are using social media.


“I am now being told by students from third and fourth class that they are too old for sites like Moshi Monsters and Club Penguin, that these sites are for babies and these students are telling me that they are now on Facebook and Instagram where that same level of monitoring isn’t in place”, she revealed.


Dr Griffin said that social media use at such a young age also poses a risk to children’s mental health as well as the risk of encountering a predator online.


She advised parents to check their children’s friend lists and followers on a regular basis.