Pretending to be “Instagram famous”, a 25-year-old Florida man allegedly lured a Texas-based minor girl only to repeatedly sexually assault and rape her for days.
Richard Brown, who already faces six felony counts of child sexual abuse, got in touch with the 17-year-old girl on Instagram and claimed to be a 19-year-old, rich and “Instagram famous”, the media reported.
He had reportedly booked an Uber costing over $800 to get the girl from her home in Texas to his parent’s home in Orlando and kept her trapped for three days.
The girl however managed to escape and reported to the local authorities while keeping her mother informed via Snapchat.
“The girl told authorities that she quickly realised Brown wasn’t who he claimed to be, but that he pressured her into staying with him for three nights as he had paid for her journey,” the report said.
To channelise user-focus on sharing better and sensible content on its platform, Facebook-owned photo-messaging app Instagram is planning on hiding the ‘Like’ counts for posts on its app.
Spotted by reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong, the feature, currently in internal testing, would restrict visibility of the number of likes on the post only to the user concerned, TechCrunch reported on Friday.
The step could help reduce competition-related hate on the app and encourage creators to post what feels most authentic rather than trying to rack up Likes for everyone to see.
“We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get. Exploring ways to reduce pressure on Instagram is something we’re always thinking about,” the report quoted an Instagram spokesperson as saying, confirming the prototype feature.
According to Wong, the prototype feature still shows a few faces and names of other people who have liked a post, while hiding the numbers.
“Hiding ‘Like’ counts might get users posting more because they’ll be less self-conscious,” the report said.
In March, micro-blogging site Twitter began testing a design that hides re-tweet counts behind an extra tap to similarly discourage inauthentic competition and herd mentality.
“If Instagram rolls out the feature, it could put the emphasis back on sharing art and self-expression, not trying to win some popularity contest,” the report added.
Other test Instagram features spotted by Wong include chat thread stickers for Direct Messages, Augmented Reality (AR) filters for Direct Video Calls, simultaneous co-watching of recommended videos through Direct, karaoke-style lyrics that appear synced to sound-tracks in Stories, emoji reactions to feed posts and a shopping bag for commerce. (IANS)