Thursday, November 4, 2010


There was an article in the local paper on Sunday about posting children pictures online.

"92% of kids now have some sort of online presence by age of 2...Moms and dads post endless streams of photos on Facebook..." Yup, yes, I do. They also have their own blog that I update weekly.

"...My kids can get cyberbullied when they get into middle school because of the then-cute, now embarrassing pictures I posted of them as babies." " can be used for advertising without my knowledge, or for something possibly illicit in another part of the world. If it takes a long time to potty-train him, some employer down the road may find that in the background check and think he's slow." "There's no reason to be super-paranoid, but don't post any pictures you wouldn't want any stranger in the world to see and use for their own purposes...privacy settings are not foolproof."

It creeps me out that a picture of my boys could be taken out of context, their head taken off, and put on a child-porn site on another kid's naked body. I actually had a conversation with my mom about this awhile back (before this article came out and confirmed it for me) and ever since I've stopped posting pictures on this site which saddens me. I love, LOVE the pictures I have of my kids. I love taking pictures. I would love to post them and have pointers given as to how I could take a better picture. I also feel that pictures help you, my readers, connect with me, the writer, and it saddens me that I don't feel comfortable doing that. I'm so torn. 

Readers--what are you thoughts on this? What precautions do you take? 


  1. Ugh. I don't know. I feel like I'm trying to make so many aspects of Nate's life safe and I can't freak out about this. But it does linger in the back of my head. I disable my right click button for awhile, but of course that is easy to get around and it was more annoying to me whenever I wanted to copy and paste something. I just stick to watermarking my pictures, which doesn't prevent cropping, since I usually do it little in the corner. Ugh. Now I'm going to be thinking about this all day. I'm more worried about the use in far away porn land then of him not getting a job down the road or getting picked by other kids.

  2. I hate that weirdo's control us.

  3. i am with you greta. i am torn. every week or so, i wonder if i should make my blog private, etc. ugh. i'm interested to hear what others have to say about it.

  4. I hate that weirdos control us, too. I post video and pictures on my personal blog and on FB, but not on I want everyone to feel free to read the Ninja Mom blog, but not to see my kids. I think it's a matter of making the choice each of us is most comfortable with. I very much appreciate the convenience of sharing mine and my kids lives with family and friends in far flung places, but I guard that conveinence somewhat by keeping the kids off of my writing blog.

  5. Actually, my primary concern regarding this is identity theft. I was really careful about posting my daughter's name or any birth date related information because I was worried that someone would be able to steal her identity and then as an adult, her credit, etc would already be ruined.

    I didn't put any pics on facebook either for a while. Then everyone kept asking, so I started posting some pictures and once I put a few out there, it just snowballed and now I post her all the time. I think I may take some of those down and be really careful about what I put out there.

    Thanks for the insight, Greta! Jen Harless

    BTW, not sure how I'll come up I need a profile of some sort to show up as myself?

  6. About a year ago my aunt discovered our blog in a google seach and that freaked me out! And she wasn't even searching for us!!! So I changed my settings so that it won't come up in searches and won't come up on that blogger scroll thing either, but I still have it open. Now with a child I have thought about changing it to private, but I always get annoyed with other peoples private blogs since I have to log in to view them, and they don't come up on my blog list when there are new posts. What to do? I think you can see who has viewed your blog, that would be interesting to find out. I'm going to look into it right now. And wow, I had never thought about the identity theft issue! Shoot! THe facebook thing feels safe-ish if you're selective with who you are friends with and make sure to constantly be updating your privacy settings. But, I'm sure those creepers have a way to get past it. I just never think of these things since I don't have a criminal or perverted mind!

  7. I changed my blog settings so that search engines cannot crawl it. I made my pictures smaller, put copyright text and watermark. I make sure that when I do this, it runs across her face or some inconvenient place. I am hoping that by making her photos small, it cannot be used for commercial or what have you because the image will be distorted when it is made even just a bit bigger. I dunno, I've made my blog private several times and reopened it. I am still back and forth. The thing is, I have only committed to doing this for one year as I will be turning my blog into her ultimate baby book. I have 6 more months until I completely shutdown my blog...

  8. As you know, I am not overly cautious in posting photos of my kids. My main caution, actually, is I am wary of creating a history that will be searched in the future for employment opportunities for my kids. I can't imagine if I were interviewing for a job and then my prospective employer does a search on my name and sees something about my poop when I was 2yo, you know?

    I wanted to comment to be clear, though, that removing your pictures from facebook, shutting down or privatizing a previous public blog, or being careful of who your facebook friends are, are ALL false senses of security. There are plenty of archival engines out there that have indexed your public blog pages such that even if you take it down, its archive can still be found. I do not know of existing similar facebook archives but certainly the technology is possible and I am willing to bet large sums of money that it is out there. Also a professional photographer told me that ANY photos uploaded to facebook are no longer your property (depending on which terms of agreement are in effect at a time). So if you have uploaded it and then later remove it, no matter, as while it was uploaded, it was archived and is no longer your property.

    If your facebook friends use any applications at all, then those applications have access to view your profile/photos/etc (whatever you allow your friends to see). Facebook security is a joke, or at least it has been.

    So, despite all that, yes, I still post pictures of my kids to connect with my friends. I am not overly paranoid about it because naively, if 92% of kids have an online presence, then the odds of it being MY kid's face being the one cut and pasted seem small. A lot of what we do as parents is a risk/reward ratio. Some parents don't put sunblock on their kids. Some parents face their kids forward in the carseat too early. Some parents let their kids be unsupervised in unsafe situations. Some parents let their kids misbehave in public or at other people's houses. For me, the reward in sharing accessibly with my friends and family are great, so I incur the risk of my kids pictures being used without my consent.

  9. I'm not overly paranoid either. I don't put ads on my site or try to generate random traffic other than other mommy bloggers so I'm hoping no-one will care enough about us to steal my pictures. They aren't that great anyway. :) The thing I am careful about is putting our last name or any other really identifying info on my blog. I don't want someone being able to find us and steal my kiddos! There are 10,000,000 things to worry about in today's day and age and I'm not going to let any of it ruin my life or have me running scared.

  10. Greta, This is such an interesting post. I have been torn about this issue too, but as you already know, I have and contine to post pictures about my Lil' Lewie. If some of these pictures come back to haunt him during school, I might have to consider changing my blog to a private setting. As for stealing the pictures for other inappropriate uses...this does bother me. The only comfort I get is knowing that thousands, perhaps millions, of families have posted pictures of their children through FaceBook and other sites. There is such an over abudnance of pictures out there, do they really need to pick mine? (Of course, I hope this decision never comes back to haunt me...)

  11. I'm a paranoid parent and have thought about this a lot but I love my blog and I love posting pictures. I'm an aspiring photographer so not sharing my pictures isn't good for that aspect too. Like the PP said, there are so many risks with everything.

    Even if you watermark, they can still use photoshop to fix it, get rid of it, even over their face! So even watermarking does no good.

    Sharing photos does help you connect with your readers. I can't imagine blogging without photos.

  12. I am a little worried but I'll still post pictures of my kids.

  13. I've only recently started to post family pics on my blog, but after reading this I might stop.

    I'm hosting my very first ever blog hop; It'll be open until Sunday. If you get a chance stop by :-)