Should You Post Pictures Of Your Kids Online?

One of the most popular things to post on social media are cute pics of your kids. But just because it's popular does that mean that it's a sensible thing to do?

Pondering girl picture from Shutterstock

I was a guest on SBS 2's The Feed last night discussing the issue, because I very specifically don't post pics or other personal details of my kids online.

There's only so much space in a TV segment that runs for three minutes, so I've written up my thoughts on the issue in more depth over at Fat Duck Tech, but I'd be interested in Lifehacker parent reader's thoughts. My observation when I bring it up with many parents is that it's simply an issue they'd not considered before. What's your approach?

Online privacy and my kids: Fat Duck on The Feed [Fat Duck Tech]


Comments

    No, I don't think you should, for the sake of people's Facebook feeds. All of my friends are giving birth to 120 dB sirens (to compare, the loudest adult scream was 129 dB, 120 dB is a rock concert and 130 dB is a machine gun) and my Facebook feed is filled with posts of children (who all look the same until they're about 4 or so) crawling across the floor with 14 likes each and a "Aww dats shoooo cyoot!" comments.

    Call me when you adopt a cat or a dog and definitely post videos when your cat tries to squirm into a cardboard box but gets stuck because that's adorably hilarious.

      Yeah the only thing worse than this is when people create accounts for their infants (or pets) and post "on their behalf" in the third person. "Katie is having a smiley day today! Thanks Mum for the yummy "pasghetti"!!!!" (52 photos attached) Ugh.

      You're taking away the kid's option to not be on the net when they get older, as well.

        With the exactness of the pasghetti remark, I'd wager this has happened to you in the last week or so.

        But yes, you're spot on. A Facebook friend (read: someone I went to highschool with) has created accounts for her two girls. I think her reasoning is so she can hand them the account when they're older, kind of like a virtual scrapbook, which is a nice idea, but it's still a million posts a day of "kids say the darndest things"

    You should try living life rather than worrying about it. Its a beautiful experience.

      I entirely agree that's its beautiful. What makes you think I'm not living life?

    I'm not a parent, but my sister is like this. She posts no pictures or any other details of her kid online. I tend to err on the side of caution, so I completely agree. Lots of weirdos out there, so why take the risk.

    Depends on the photo... if it's innocuous enough then meh..! If it's something off kilter, able to be used as kiddie porn in any way shape or form, or bound to embarrass later in life then no...!

    Last edited 13/06/14 3:11 pm

      Problem with that theory is if they are perverted enough ANYTHING could be classed as porn.

        Gotta draw a reasonable line somewhere...!

    I do post pics of the kids but I have my security locked down to uber paranoid and I 'only' have actual friends as my FB friends. You know, people I either see incarnate or have known personally for decades.

    I have posted pics of my niece and newphews online, though I'm very carefully aware of what privacy settings I have set up; and for such pics I make sure to set them so only friends and family can see. I'm also pretty careful about who I friend on Facebook.

    I also tag either my sister or her husband on all of the photos so they're always aware of what gets uploaded, and can request I take down anything they're not happy about.

    That said, I've only posted pics taken out and about in public, or at innocuous family occasions like Christmas. I have plenty of friends who are young parents and are way too happy to post bathtime photos of their kids; I find it creepy and really worrying. I don't care how cute they are, nobody wants to see your naked child on their Facebook feed.

    Last edited 13/06/14 3:28 pm

    I'm going to make an assumption, Alex (with the obvious associated risks) that your kids aren't old enough to make this decision for themselves and/or do this themselves behind your back. I don't disagree with any of your points (well, I'm on the fence about school photos) - they're all good and valid. But the absoluteness of your approach isn't for me - as much as I really, REALLY, REALLY hate it when parents use pictures of their kids as their profile photo on Facebook.

    My concern is that such a zero tolerance approach to posting their images to social media is that it makes it difficult to have a conversation later on about what is and isn't appropriate when they start to do this themselves. In a nutshell, once they start getting really rebellious, you've handed them a way to really annoy you - which is the other side of the issue you've raised concerning social identity. While I sympathise strongly with your view, my view is more post their photos, but sparingly and with discretion. (Also, I don't want to get into a fight with my significant other about this, when I know I'm gonna lose - I want to save my good arguments until the kids hit dating age and my paranoia is less hypothetical)

    Last edited 13/06/14 3:40 pm

      It's an interesting point you raise; what I do right now is discuss with them what I'm doing in relation to my own social media feeds, and what I post there, pointing out the associated risks so that they're aware of them as well. It's presented as a choice that the parents (myself and my wife) have made on their behalf, not an iron rule (because yes, you're right, rebellion is all part of growing up).

    I'm happy to, but I dont put their names with them.
    I also dont put their school or other identifying details with their pictures..

    Unfortunately it seems that the same kind of parents who would want to post dozens of pictures of their kids online are the same kind of parents who are absolutely clueless about privacy settings.

    In a publicly accessible place, sure.

    But it's insanely trivial to create and use groups on Facebook for exactly this purpose.

    That way people who don't care or don't like aren't bothered by it, and people who want to see it can see it.

    It's a shame that common sense isn't so common anymore.

    How about youtube http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2013/07/banned-from-youtube-common-slip-ups/

    Aside from the obvious safety issues, I do also feel it's a little unfair on the kid/s to make them available for all to see on the net because, being kids, they're not equipped to make informed decisions about whether it's genuinely OK with them or not, and, that's even *with* the optimistic assumption that parents actually do ask the child for consent to publish their photos online.

    I think it was probably bad enough for kids in the previous century, when parents would embarrass them on 'slide night', with gurning-baby and Vegemite-faced toddler tantrum pics shown to neighbours and friends but now the audience can be in the thousands.

    Dad to 2 girls here and I must admit I went a bit crazy with the social media pics with #1. But I have since wized up and no post pics to a site called peekaboo (no affiliation btw). Simpler interface for the grandparents so they are able to view, its more of a scrapbook that I can give to my girls and most importantly - the small circle of people who can see the pics actually might want to, unlike Facebook etc

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