Social networks – is it dangerous to share photos of our children on social networks?

Today it is rare to find someone who does not have a social media account. And parents are no exception, they are the first to show how proud they are of their offspring. This new form of exposure in the United States is called sharenting , a new word that appears from the combination of share (sharing) and parenting (parenting). It is used to designate the action of uploading children’s photos to social networks.

However, while uploading a photo of your firstborn’s birthday may seem like a good idea, it’s actually not so good. You want to know why?

1- Identity theft. If we upload too much information to social networks, someone could take advantage of it to supplant our identity because with the exposure of content to social networks, a defined profile can be created (photos, our tastes, places we go, studies, …).

2- The fingerprint. When you have a child, it is wonderful to share with others the illusion that makes you have him: his first porridge, his first tooth fallen, his first steps … However, once this information is uploaded, no one guarantees that it will disappear in case you want it to. That is, everything that is uploaded to the internet remains on the internet , even if you delete it. Think about your son in the future, when he grows up, do you think he would like you to share that information about him? There are many cases of children who after puberty (at which time they begin to have more contact with new technologies) enter the internet and realize that they already have a digital identity that their parents created by uploading photos or videos of when they were young. . This fingerprint is not usually liked by children and is the object of anger and resentment.

By uploading photos of our children we expose ourselves to being stolen
By uploading photos of our children we expose ourselves to being stolen

3- They can be the subject of jokes or memes. If a photo is funny, someone could take it, manipulate it and turn it into a funny meme. The same is true of videos in which children experience embarrassing situations. Think of all those videos that have gone viral where you see children falling, dancing, singing or in embarrassing situations. These children will one day grow up and they will not be amused to discover that their parents were the ones who determined their virtual identity. In addition, this exposure could even trigger cyberbullying to the minor in the future.

3- Theft of images. If you are concerned about this issue, you should read the privacy conditions before giving your approval to a social network as many allow companies to take our photos and use them for commercial or advertising purposes.

4- Child sexual abuse. Unfortunately the Internet brings many people into contact, but they are not always wanted people. There are many cases of pedophiles who managed to contact their victims on the basis of the information shared by the parents of their children on the internet. They see an interesting photo, enter the profile of the person who posted the photo and start to investigate and search for more. Where do you live? What places do you frequent? What school uniform is he wearing? On the other hand, the photos can also be used for their own purposes , sharing them on child pornography websites. For example, did you know that 50% of the photos found on pedophile sites are taken from social networks? We are giving away content that you never know in whose hands it will end up.

5- We do not set a good example. When adolescence arrives, parents usually give a talk to their children about the importance of privacy on the Internet, that they should not share photos or videos of themselves with strangers or accept suggestions of friendship … But, what example will we be giving if we are the first to publish photos of our children and also without your permission?

What does the law say about sharing photos of children on the internet?

According to article 18.1 of the Spanish Constitution, the decision to upload a photo of a minor to the internet or to social networks depends on the person who has the protested homeland. That is, if the parents consent there are no problems in it, it is another thing if they are separated or divorced , you have to make sure that the two agree. There are many cases brought to trial where one parent requires the other to remove photos from social networks and a ban on uploading new content. In these cases it is usually ruled in favor. From the age of 14 , it is the minor who must give his consent and not his father for the exposure of the content on social networks and other portals.

Take a good look at the privacy settings of social networks if you upload photos of children
Take a good look at the privacy settings of social networks if you upload photos of children

Precautions when uploading content to the internet

We have outlined some of the most important reasons why we think you should post photos of minors on the internet. If you still want to do it at least make sure of the following:

1- If the photos are uploaded by instant messaging such as WhatsApp, first go to the privacy settings and make sure that only the people you choose can see the information .

2- If you do it on social media pages, check that you have a private profile and that not everyone has access. Even so, normally among our contacts some acquaintance who is not so close always sneaks in, for that reason, the ideal would be set privacy so that content can only be viewed by certain people, our closest friends and contacts.

3- The content should not be published under any circumstances in forums, blogs or public websites as anyone can enter and there is no control over visits. If you still want to do it, blur the image of the child so that he cannot be recognized. The distant photos where you cannot see their faces or their backs are the best options, it is also important that the place is not known so that they can associate us with a certain area.

4- Never post photos of naked or less when the bathroom (including newborns) or with data that can identify places they frequent our children.

And above all … Use common sense. It is not about never sharing information about your child, it is just choosing the right media and people.