Police reported getting dozens and dozens of tips, and nine schools in Philadelphia were locked down Monday while authorities investigated possible sightings of Stephens.
But they said there was no sign he was actually there.
“It’s like a loaded gun,” said Pamela Casey, a district attorney in Blount County, Ala., who is on a national crusade warning people about the dangers of social media.“This is the new crime of our time,” she said.“Years ago, you had to worry about your kid getting snatched.
Parents don’t realize that essentially your kid could get snatched -- their life taken by somebody they meet in their own bedroom,” said Casey.
I was gonna knock on the wall and tell her to come in … ” Van Sant asked.“Yes.”“So she never went unsupervised? But Nicole leading an unsupervised life online through the social media apps on her smartphone.
Before long, a neighborhood mother gave her some chilling news. daughters and said that Nicole had said she was goin’ out on a date,” said Weeks.
I come out here, sit with her for an hour,” Tammy Weeks said while visiting her daughter’s grave.“It’s just been a nightmare … Like millions of teens, Nicole spent a lot of her social time online. Volunteers even brought an infrared drone to aid in the search for Nicole.“I know she wouldn’t go nowhere for that many hours without her medicine,” said Weeks. “She would always make me write her a note for gym because they would pick on her about her scar.” Nicole’s social media posts reveal a sadly typical teenage story: so lonely she’d had suicidal thoughts, longing for love and convinced nobody cared about her.
Kik enables people to message each other one-on-one or in group chats, and to share photos, videos and other content.
By enabling people to identify themselves only by an invented username, it provides more anonymity than services such as Whats App, which connect people through their phone numbers.
The chatbot was created by influencer marketing platform The Amplify and chatbot developer Automat, companies that became part of the 18-month-old network You & Mr Jones in mid-2016.
"Mobile commerce will be colossal using bots," said David Jones, former Havas global CEO and founder of You & Mr Jones. Traditional ads can cost thousands per click -- this is a conversation on Kik." Results so far include 14 times more conversations with the chatbot than with an average post by Ms.
Cover Girl has released what it claims is the first influencer chatbot marketing campaign, using a program designed to emulate a real person's conversational style.
The make-up brand, which was spun off to Coty from Procter & Gamble in October, invited fans to use the teen-focused messaging app Kik to interact with a chatbot version of Kalani Hilliker, a 16-year-old American dancer, model and TV personality.
Kik also pushed out an update to the app, available on Google Play and Apple's i Tunes store, and had Apple raise Kik's age-appropriate rating on Monday from 9 to 12 , closer to its requirement that no one under 13 use the service, terms that are shared by Kik's rivals.
The parents' guide stresses that teens between 13 and 18 need a parent's permission to use Kik, but there's no technical way to enforce that or to prevent a child from entering a false birthdate, Mc Leod acknowledged."A lot of blame has been placed on Kik in the last two days," Mc Leod said, but he noted that many other social media networks operate the same way.
As for the shooting victim, Godwin appeared to have been selected at random, gunned down while picking up aluminum cans Sunday afternoon after spending Easter with some of his children.
A manhunt that started in Cleveland's gritty east side expanded rapidly into a nationwide search for Stephens, a 37-year-old job counselor who worked with teens and young adults, police said."He could be nearby.