A California mother is asking adults to reconsider posting pictures of their children on Facebook. Erika Elmuts warns that Facebook continually changes its privacy settings, making it just about impossible to control who does — and doesn’t — see kids’ pictures. “I can’t control the privacy settings that somebody else has on their Facebook page, and Facebook is always changing what those privacy settings are, so… you even can’t keep up with it as a user,” Elmuts said.
Elmuts opinion is not an altogether popular one. Facebook users have uploaded more than 240 billion pictures. “Sixty-four percent of parents upload images of their children to social media outlets at least three times a week,” Time Health & Family adds. Others feel that their newsfeeds are overrun with baby pictures — overrun enough to download Google Chrome’s browser extension UnBaby.me. (The web extension deletes baby pictures from social media news feeds.)
Will Facebook Posts Haunt Your Children?
Facebook posts could potentially embarrass children later in life. “David DeVore posted a video in 2009 of his son, also named David, who was still woozy after dental surgery. The video has now been seen more than 121 million times,” CNN reports. The overwhelming response caused DeVore to reevaluate his decision to post the video. “That first week, it was kind of shocking and we were trying to navigate, ‘Well, what is going on here? Are they criticizing David, or are they making fun of him?'” DeVore told CNN.
Public pictures and videos may have much more serious consequences, some parents suggest. TODAY Moms elaborates, “In a quest to protect their daughter from facial recognition, Facebook profiling, and corporate data mining, Amy Webb and her husband never post any photos of her online. Webb, the CEO of Webbmedia Group, stirred a lively discussion when she wrote about her stance in a column on Slate.com last fall.” Others fear that baby pictures may ultimately prevent their kids from getting accepted into college, or even from pursuing their chosen career.
What You Can Do
Parents can take preventative action. Asking friends and family not to post kids’ pictures online, like Elmuts, is one option. Parents can take action if friends do not listen. “Facebook allows parents to request that an image of a child who is under 13 be removed if they think the photo is violating their privacy rights,” TODAY Moms adds. Other parents may choose to share pictures of their children on their personal accounts, but ask friends and family to abstain from sharing pictures of their son or daughter. This allows them to closely monitor privacy settings, and keep track of children’s photos.