RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A photo posted on the NBC12 News Facebook page reached more than 12 million people around the world in just a week.
The photo of anchor Sarah Bloom asked Facebook users to share the photo to see how far it would travel, and the more than 180,000 shares helped the post make its way to users in Alaska, Canada, California. Bloom received messages from users in Africa, South America, Scandinavia and more.
The social media experiment provides an important for parents and children alike. Social media experts warn it could also be a child's post which spreads far and wide, and the photos and videos that do go viral are often the ones that can do irreversible damage.
"These posts can spread within milliseconds. I have seen posts that go viral very quickly, especially those unfortunately that have such a negative connotation," said Marcy Williams, a specialist in social media safety and author of Is My Face in Cyberspace? A Social Media Safety Handbook. "If there's fighting, if there's misappropriate language, I have seen them go viral. So it's really really dangerous. You want to be smart."
Williams says have the conversation before your kids are posting.
You can still weigh in on the NBC12 News Facebook page about how you talk to your kids and if you are their "friend" on Facebook.