If you’re a parent on social media, it’s very likely that you’ve shared photos and moments from your children’s lives. As harmful as social media can be in some ways, it’s been a lifeline for parents in the trenches of child rearing. I’ve found my dearest friends on the internet, and honestly, I would not have survived without them. But as much as I share with my circle, I draw the line at sharing things on a broad scale. My own personal social media accounts are locked down tight. I don’t tag pictures of my kids with popular hashtags. Also, I don’t post pictures of them in private moments, or when they’re having a rough time. I would never want them to look back at what I’ve shared and be embarrassed or feel shamed in any way. And then there’s the matter of who sees what you put out there on the wild wild web. Child privacy advocates are urging parents to think twice about what they post, because nothing is truly private on the internet.
Child privacy advocates with the Child Rescue Coalition have created a campaign, Kids for Privacy. They want to help parents understand the ramifications of sharing photos on the internet.
To me, there’s a big difference between posting a picture of your kid smiling and having fun, and posting a picture of them naked in a tub. I feel very strongly that child nudity in ANY form should be kept off the internet and social media. As cute as your kid looks in the bath, there’s absolutely no reason for you to share that with the world. That’s a private chat or text thread photo, you know? Another line I draw: potty training. I wouldn’t want a picture of myself on the toilet on the internet. So I expect my kids would feel the same way. But some parents share images like this all the time. And they either don’t realize the possible danger of it, or they don’t care.
Aside from the complete invasion of child privacy, images like those can easily fall into the wrong hands.
The Child Rescue Coalition is a non-profit organization made up of child exploitation investigators, police officers, digital forensic experts, prosecutors, and other experts. They want to warn parents of the very real dangers of sharing pictures and videos of children in states of undress, private moments, or in distress. When you post a picture of your child potty training for example, and then tag the picture, you’re potentially exposing them and making them a target for sex offenders and pedophiles. Those hashtags are public. Whether we like it or not, some really disturbed and dangerous people have access to them.
Kids for Privacy created this video, and they’re urging parents to watch it and think about what they share. Child privacy is something that needs to be protected.