“Teen Dating” Facebook Group May Be Linked to a 13-Year-Old Girl’s Death

Nicole Lovell

As you scroll through the page of the Facebook group “Teens Dating 17+100[Note: Link may include explicit content.], it’s difficult to tell what type of online community it is.

As the name suggests, there are photos of smiling teens and silly selfies. But for every innocent teen image, there are four or five explicit and pornographic photos and a stream of requests that invite strangers to connect and rate photos, comments that bully and belittle, and posts that share personal information and welcome members to contact and “friend” each other.

Despite what its name implies, Teen Dating 17+100 is a dangerous digital space for an adult to find themselves, let alone a child or a teen. This group is just one of the popular communities of “Teen Dating” networks that are on Facebook, and parents need to take notice.

The Danger of Teen Dating Facebook Groups

Teen Dating Facebook Groups are nothing new to social media. Groups that invite teens to join and connect with each other have been around for years.

But the true ugliness and danger of these sites recently came to light when the death of 13-year-old girl in Virginia was connected to the group, “Teen Dating and Flirting.”

On January 1st, a 7th grader, Nicole Lovell posted a selfie in the group with the caption, “cute or nah.” The photo received over 300 responses, many of them which were mean and vicious. Just a few weeks later, Lovell was found dead.

Police believe that Lovell may have been lured to her death by a member of the group who saw her saw her online.

How to Protect Your Teen

Parents need to take notice that these innocent sounding “teen” groups are actually places for dangerous adults and predators to find, bully, and pray on young teens.

To keep your kids safe from Facebook teen groups and others like it, we recommend that you:

  • Pay attention to the apps your kids are using and use them yourself. If your kid is on Facebook, get on Facebook. Create a profile on all of the social media apps they use so you can be aware of the platform, how it works, and who uses it.
  • Don’t expect your kids to tell you all of the apps they use. Check their phones to review newly installed apps and to open up the apps to try them out. Kids will often create multiple accounts to hide their activity, so log in from their phones to see what they are doing.
  • Periodically check their online communication to make sure they are only talking with trusted and known family and friends.
  • Don’t give your teen unlimited access to their phones and computers. Regulate when and where they use their devices so you can better monitor their activity and usage.
  • Report any suspicious activity to law enforcement. If you do find that a stranger has formed an inappropriate relationship with you child, don’t delay. Notify law enforcement immediately.

As a parent, monitoring all of your children’s social media activity is a big job, but it is an extremely important job. So, make it a priority.

You can use the MamaBear, The Ultimate Parenting App™ to simplify the management of your social media check-ins. The free app, available for both iPhones and Androids, enables parents to connect their profile with their children’s social media accounts so checking in and keeping your kids safe is easy and effective. 

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MamaBear’s Most Popular Posts in 2015

mamabear popular blog posts 2015

As digital and social media use continued to rise in 2015, MamaBear was there to explain new trends and problems to parents throughout the year. As we enter another year and look forward to even more changes to come, take a minute to recap the most important issues and posts from the MamaBear blog in 2015.

Is Instagram Safe for Kids: A Guide for Concerned Parents

is instagram safe for kids

In 2015, Instagram grew to be one of the most popular social media sites for teens. With more than 300 million users, the photo-sharing app became a platform that parents absolutely needed to be aware of. MamaBear published Is Instagram Safe for Kids: A Guide for Concerned Parents to help parents navigate the popular site and learn how to protect their children who use it.

The Hurtful Side of Social Media: Horrific Threats Via Instagram for One Teen

instagram safety for kids

Many parents still believe that social media is not a serious issue. But in our post The Hurtful Side of Social Media: Horrific Threats Via Instagram for One Teen, we looked at the real severity of danger in the digital world. The post looked into the story of one family who got school officials and police involved when their daughter started receiving death threats through Instagram. It also included tips on how parents can prevent the same thing from happening to their children.

Parents Are Oversharing on Social Media and It May Be Impacting Their Kids

Parents Oversharing Social Media

We regularly discuss dangers related to the habits of children and teens who use social media on our MamaBear blog. We flipped the coin in our post, Parents Are Oversharing on Social Media and It May Be Impacting Their Kids. In the post, we looked at why parents share on social media, how often they share, and how their over sharing can negatively affect their children.

Preparing Your Teen Driver to Hit the Road

Preparing Your Teen Driver to Hit the Road

MamaBear strives to protect teens online and on the road. In our post, Preparing Your Teen Driver to Hit the Road, we covered the most important considerations for parents with a new teen driver. From reviewing common driving mistakes and setting driving rules to creating a driver’s contract, the post gives parents a full prep lesson before they pass the keys over to their teen.

How To Use Bear2Bear – MamaBear’s Customer Referral Program

mamabear referral program

In 2015, we encouraged our users to share the benefits of our app with their friends and family. In the post, How to Use Bear2Bear —  MamaBear’s Customer Referral Program, we explained how parents could use our referral program to become a premium member for free by sharing MamaBear through text, email, or social media. We want more parents and families to experience the benefit of the MamaBear, The Ultimate Parenting App™, so we made it simple for our users to spread the word.

Family Safety in 2016

As we start 2016, MamaBear would like to wish you and your family a happy and safe New Year. We hope you use these resources (along with the other helpful posts on our blog) and the MamaBear App to make 2016 the best and safest year yet.

To start this year on the right foot and protect your family while providing yourself peace of mind, get MamaBear for free on both iPhone and Android devices.


How to Have a Safe and Fun Halloween With Kids of All Ages

Halloween safety tips for kids

From costume advice to trick-and-treating rules, use these tips to make sure you have a fun and safe Halloween with your kids of all ages.

Tips for Kids Ages 0-5

Even small children and toddlers can be a part of Halloween festivities with the right planning.


Make sure store-bought costumes have no choking hazards or loose buttons or accessories.

Toddlers love to be on their feet even though they are still a little wobbly. To ensure that can safely move around, hem long costumes and capes so children have no loose fabric to step on.

Before you put any makeup on your child’s skin (even if it is just a few dots on their cheeks), test the makeup in a small spot to make sure the product doesn’t irritate your child’s skin.

Events and Activities

Look around for events that specifically state that they are for younger children. Halloween is supposed to be spooky, but you don’t want it to be scary for your kids. Make sure that the events you are attending have specified that the event is friendly for small children.

Trick and Treating

Toddlers will likely want to walk during some of their trick-or-treat experience. But don’t let them walk on their own in dark or crowded areas.

Smaller kids may be unable to eat the candy they collect. Let them enjoy the fun of putting candy in their bag, but don’t let them put anything in their mouth until you have inspected and approved it.

Tips for Kids Ages 6-11

At this age, kids are a little more independent and will want to experience more Halloween activities. But you should still put rules in place to make sure they have a safe Halloween.


On Halloween, kids may come in close contact with decorative candles and flames. So it’s important that their costumes are flame-resistant. Check the labels before you buy any costume or accessory to ensure it is resistant to fire.

Events and Activities

Kids at this age may still be a little too young to carve their own pumpkins, but they can get involved with the activity another way. Let them scoop out the insides of the pumpkin, and instead of carving designs, let them draw faces on pumpkins with markers.

Trick and Treating

Set candy rules early on. Kids should not eat any of the candy that makes it into their bag until their parents have inspected it.

Tips for Kids Ages 12-17

Preteens and teens are still old enough to want to enjoy Halloween, but often want to do it on their own. If your kids are going to celebrate Halloween on their own, make sure they are equipped with tools and knowledge to keep them safe.


When kids are trick-or-treating on their own, you want to be extra careful about the visibility of their costume. If your child is in a dark costume, add LED lights or glow stick jewelry to make sure they stand out in the dark.

Trick and Treating

Before your kids walk out the door, lay out a map of their intended trick-or-treat route.

Kids this age probably won’t wait to get home to eat a few pieces of candy. So teach them how to inspect their candy on their own. They should only eat candy in commercially-wrapped packages from neighbors that they know. Everything else should wait until you can inspect it.

Set check-in times when kids need to update you on their status and location.

Halloween Safety App

If your kids are trick-or-treating on their own for the first time, it can be a little nerve-racking to let them go on their own. But with the MamaBear, The Ultimate Parenting App™, you can have added peace of mind.

The app, which is free for both iPhones and Androids, can send you an automatic update when your child meets a certain destination. MamaBear doesn’t rely on your child remembering to check in with you, it automatically shows their location on the family map so long as they have it running properly on their phone. With MamaBear  you can enjoy a more relaxed evening while your kids have a fun and safe Halloween.  

More Halloween Safety Tips

Table Talk: Viral Video Shows The Reality of Online Stranger Danger

Coby Persin, a YouTube star with over 1.3 million subscribers, recently used his platform to remind both parents and children just how dangerous social media can be.

In the video, “The Dangers of Social Media (Child Predator Social Experiment),” Coby made a fake Facebook profile of a 15-year-old boy and friend requested three girls (12, 13, and 14 years old) with their parent’s permission.

He then messaged the girls, and after a few days, invited each one to meet him in real life.

The parents in the experiment believed their daughters wouldn’t agree to meet the fake 15-year-old Coby had created, but what they found surprised them. 

Each of the girls agreed to meet him in person. One at a park. One invited him to her house after her parents went to sleep. And one girl even snuck out of her house and jumped right into his car.

The parents were shocked and so were the girls. 

They didn’t see the boy they thought they met online. Instead, their parents were there waiting for them with Coby to remind them of the incredibly dangerous decision they just made.

Watch for yourself.

Then, share this powerful video with your kids to make sure they realize just how dangerous meeting online strangers can be.

After hearing about a news story out of Los Angeles, Coby released this video to show how easy it is for a pedophile to pick up an underage child using social media.

In that news story, a father awoke at 2 AM and saw that his teenage daughter had left the house. When he went to look for her, he saw a man guiding his daughter into a car.

This wasn’t an experiment. The man pretending to be a teenager was actually 27. And the danger was real.

How to Talk to Your Kids About Online Stranger Danger

As your kids get ready to go back to school, take this opportunity to remind your them how to protect themselves from online stranger danger.

  • Keep your profiles set as private.
  • Remember that people can easily pose as someone else online.
  • Online profile photos cannot prove someone’s identity.
  • If someone sends you inappropriate photos, tell an adult immediately.
  • Never give out personal information such as your address, phone number, or school name.
  • Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know — even if you have mutual friends.
  • If someone asks you to meet them in real life, tell an adult immediately.
  • NEVER meet a person you met online in real life.

Related Post: Dangers of Talking to Strangers Online

Many parents think their children would not agree to meet an online stranger in real life. But as the parents in this video found out, parents might be surprised by what they learn about their children’s social media habits.

The only way to be absolutely sure that your child is practicing safe social media habits is to see it for yourself. Parents need to be involved with their child’s online social world. With MamaBear, the Peace of Mind Parenting™ app, that is easy. 

The free app alerts parents when their child gets a new follower and posts a new message or photo. Parents can also set up notifications so they get special alerts when their child gets a private message or uses certain words or phrases (such as “meet in person”, etc.).

Available for both iPhones and Androids, this app is a must-have for parents looking to protect their children from the very real dangers of online strangers.