With the seeming ubiquity of Facebook sharing and the proliferation of high-quality mobile phone cameras, it's easier than ever for parents to flood the Internet with pictures of their babies.
But an increasing number of parents are opting for a Facebook blackout when it comes to photos of their kids, reports The Associated Press. Why are more and more parents choosing not to chronicle their young children's lives on Facebook?
Here are five reasons (including a few legal ones) that you may want to keep baby pics off Facebook:
- Your baby pictures could be used/viewed as child pornography. Although your child's naked pictures may seem innocent to you, the sad truth is that there are people in the world who derive sexual gratification from images of children, even toddlers and infants. In some rare instances, you may actually be accused of producing child pornography: That happened to a Utah couple after a photo lab worker reported pictures of the father kissing his naked baby to police. The charges were eventually dropped, but the couple was still deported following the incident.
- Potential misappropriation for commercial purposes. Pictures of your children online can easily be copied and used for unwanted purposes that you may never know about. Unscrupulous bloggers and website owners may find and use images of your cute baby for their own commercial gain without your permission.
- The Internet (almost) never forgets. Although many websites, Facebook included, offer users the options of deleting old posts (and a California law passed in 2013 will make this option mandatory for websites that gives teen the ability to post, starting next year), sometimes it's too late. Even if you later decide to delete your baby's pictures from Facebook, other users may have already saved or posted the image. The image may have also been cached or stored elsewhere without your knowledge.
- Your baby pic could turn into a viral meme. A less likely, but no less regrettable, risk is that a particularly cute or funny picture of your child could become a meme -- an image that spreads throughout the Internet via user posting. While for Internet aficionados this may be desirable, your child may not appreciate being Internet-famous for a baby photo later in life.
- Overshare overload. Keeping baby pictures off of Facebook may not only be a good choice for you and your child, but it may also spare your friends and colleagues from baby picture overload.
Not ready to abandon Facebook just yet, but concerned about who might be seeing what? Check out these 10 Facebook privacy tips from FindLaw's Technologist blog.
- Legal to Take, Post Naked Baby Pictures? (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- 5 Reasons You May Want to Quit Facebook (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- Unwanted Facebook Photo: Invasion of Privacy? (FindLaw's Injured)
- Search FindLaw.com's Lawyer Directory for an attorney who's right for you (FindLaw)