Parents uploading pictures and videos to social media sites of their children seems like such a normal thing now, but is this violating their privacy? Shouldn’t the kids have a say in whether or not they’re going to be all over the web?
Videos from Charlie Bit My Finger to David After Dentist have gone viral with millions of views. Parents who upload these videos should think of how the child will react once they’re old enough. Kids don’t want their identity to be based off of a popular video or picture. The adults should allow their children to decide what to post. This way, the kid can start to learn how to control their status on the internet.
Not just videos, but simply posting a photo of your child online. Even if it doesn’t get a thousand thumbs up and become popular, people can still see those photos. What parents don’t seem to understand is that once a photo is posted, it’s on the internet forever. Though the hype could calm down, kids are bound to be recognized. Middle schoolers are especially judgemental to others. The once famous kid could get bullied for something their parent posted.
There are different social medias for proud parents to show off their young ones. Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter have different types of security and restrictions for who can see what. It is difficult for parents to allow only people they know to see these, instead of anyone on the interweb.
“If you are posting to the public you are running the risk of your child’s picture being used in a way you wouldn’t want it to be,” said Mary Eshelman, a teacher at All Saints Academy and mother of two. She has admitted to posting photos of her kids on Facebook.
Posing photos or videos become even worse when names of children are added. Allowing anyone to know the first and last name of children is not only violating their privacy, it’s extremely dangerous. You don’t know what someone will do with that information.
Many adults post photos on Facebook and have different opinions on the matter. The subject of the photo or video can change the view of the content. A video of a piano recital is increasingly different from a video of a tantrum.
“You must always ask yourself ‘What is my motive?’ in all situations,” said Misty Grassley, another teacher at All Saints Academy. She has posted many photos of her three kids on her Facebook page.
A child’s privacy can also be lost when people other than the parents post photos of the kid. Parents can decide if their photos violate their child’s privacy, but when other people post photos, the parents have no control.
More specific ways a child’s privacy can be lost are shown below.
It may be your child’s birthday, or a cute play date, but there are other children there. The parents may not want their child to be on the internet. You can’t decide what the other parents want. Respecting other people and their children’s privacy is something everyone should remember. Ask if it’s okay, or just don’t share the photos. It’s not really necessary that everyone sees them.
- Nude or semi-nude photos of babies
Although this may be an artistic way to show people your newborn, you don’t know who is going to get to these photos and what they will do with them. This goes without saying that you should keep these to yourself or better yet, don’t even take them.
- Videos on…
Many people have reached fame on YouTube with the help of children. The Fine Brothers, for example, have a show called “Kids React”, where they record the reactions of young children to certain things. The kids, when they reach high school move on to “Teens React” and have a better knowledge of what traces they leave on the internet. All kids on YouTube or any social media should be old enough to know what the consequences of being on the internet are.
One certain Vine channel, BatDad, revolves around a father and his family. He mentions his childrens’ names in many of the videos. He is the parent and he controls what he does and does not post. BatDad, who’s real name is Blake Wilson, has stated in an interview with CNN that he makes sure every video is appropriate before he posts. He doesn’t plan on putting his children in harms way.
People post videos of their children on Facebook so family and friends can see their child. However, Facebook is not the safest place for these videos to go. As said before, these videos can have different motives, that change whether or not someone should post them. Even if only friends and family can see the video, young ones tend to not want everyone to see something extremely embarrassing to them.
Adults’ opinions change on the matter. Not all parents have thought to ask if their kids want them to post photos of them online. Most of the parents agreed that anything that may embarrass their children is not something worth posting.
Posting photos shouldn’t just be whether or not the parent thinks it acceptable. The kid, the subject of the photo should have a say. They should be able to make their own footprint on the internet and decide how they are viewed online. It’s not all up to the parent.