Kiddie pictures on the evil internet

Father and Son
The Finnish "Oh My God We Must Protect The Children At Any Cost" - organization (aka "Pelastakaa Lapset") is again Very Concerned about people putting their kid's pictures online - "because they might end up with people who might do Evil Stuff with them". The implication is that the internet is filled with people who have nothing better to do than to spank the monkey at the sight of a funny picture of a kid in bath, and that hordes of perverts will descend from the sky and tear each other apart for the privilege of seeing a bit of naked child body.

Well, maybe I'm overexaggerating slightly, but these are folks who welcome almost any lengths of online censorship in the name of child protection. So the obvious reaction of any freedom-loving person is to laugh at the idea.

But hold on - I actually believe they are right in this case. Not because I would imagine that the online world is filled with perverts (which obviously do exist, but as usual, censorship is the wrong solution) - but because of a far larger concern: everyone's right to privacy.

A child is not able make an informed decision about choosing what to share or not, and therefore it is the job of the parent (or custodian) to make this determination for him. And, in this case, I think it makes sense to err on the side of caution. We know that pictures are difficult to remove from the internet, so once you choose to be open in this regard, the child cannot undo your decision once he gets old enough. It's a one-way street, and you must be careful when you go that way.

You don't know what your child will want when he's older. Until then, you need to choose wisely.


Interesting points of view BUT when you get older, you still have no real chance of decision. I have always hated pictures taken of me, but I am considered a trouble maker when I say I don't want them taken. They are all over the family albums and friends' albums and I am referring to the old paper photo albums.

I have my pictures online now, but all of them have been downloaded by me or I have given my permission to publish them.

I think there are worse things than pictures which eventually will be recognized only by the mother of the children. I just saw a couple of documentaries about children who attend beauty or talent competitions. Do they really know what they want?

Those naked baby pictures are another thing but my guess is that they violate the terms of all the different platforms and the parents publishing them can be banned if someone reports them.

--Leena, 01-Sep-2009

Well, the law is quite clearly on your side: you can always decline your photograph to be taken. Sometimes it's hard to be yourself without angering others, but then the question becomes really about your own priorities: be nice or be comfortable? We all have to make that decision all over again in our lives.

But it is a choice.

The terms of service usually talk about "obscene" pictures. It depends quite a lot on the culture, how this is interpreted.

--JanneJalkanen, 01-Sep-2009

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"Main_blogentry_300809_1" last changed on 30-Aug-2009 23:20:28 EEST by JanneJalkanen.