5 Pictures of Your Kids You Should NEVER Post on Facebook? One Mom Shrugs


Though we are exhorted to live in a constant state of hysteria when it comes to our kids, some people get just too fed up — or tired — to heed the latest  safety “advice.” Here’s kaenekfdsa
one of them
! Let us salute Anna Claire Vollers on Alabama’s AL.com  for her dismissal of the nattering nabobs of helicoptivity. (Hey — is that a new word i just coined? Kids living in helicoptivity? Are they helicoptives?)

5 photos of your kids you shouldn’t post on social media & why I do it anyway, by Anna Claire Vollers

“5 photos of your kids you shouldn’t post on social media.” That was the headline of a story I clicked on this week. I can be a sucker for parenting advice.

As I clicked through the story, I realized I’ve posted photos in every single no-no category.

About a nanosecond later, I decided I don’t care. Not really.

I love sharing photos of my family on Instagram and Facebook, and love seeing photos of my friends’ kids as well. Social media isn’t some weird fad; it’s how many of us chronicle the lives of our families. Instagram has become something of a family photo journal for me, and at the end of each year I pull photos from Instagram to use in photo albums.

But there are millions of internet creeps out there, you might say. What about privacy? Safety? Sensitive information? THINK OF THE CHILDREN.

As a journalist, I have to be social media-savvy. I know exactly how much information a random person (such as myself) can find out about folks who don’t use their online privacy settings.

I also know that if someone really wanted to find out my kids’ last name (hint: it’s Vollers!) or their address or my phone number online, they could find it….So forgive me if I’m not overly concerned about worst-case scenarios caused by posting a photo of my kid at preschool.

She goes on to explain the same thing one you once put so succinctly in the comments: The media is not there to inform you, it’s there to make money:

Despite what you see in the media, child abduction by a total stranger (and from an online photo!) is incredibly rare. These kinds of headlines are written to create a sense of fear so you’ll click on the stories and thus boost the news outlet’s advertising revenue.

So kudos, down there, Ms. Vollers. We know where you live. We know where your children live. And it doesn’t make you one whit less safe. – L


For the love of all that's good, do not post that selfie, kid!!!

For the love of all that’s good, do not post that selfie!!!


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70 Responses to 5 Pictures of Your Kids You Should NEVER Post on Facebook? One Mom Shrugs

  1. Shelly Stow January 20, 2016 at 9:28 am #

    Or maybe heliCAPTIVES.

  2. James Pollock January 20, 2016 at 9:29 am #

    5 photos your kids shouldn’t share:

    1. Having underage sex while holding up a sign that says “hi mom!”

    2. Holding bomb-making materials, in front of engineering plans for Hoover Dam.

    3. Juggling babies.

    4. Posing with the Joker (Harleen Quinzel only)

    5. At Disneyland, naked from the waist down, offering free mouse-ear hats.

  3. Powers January 20, 2016 at 9:40 am #

    2, 3, and 4 are fine to violate. But 1 and 5 violate the child’s privacy, and that’s not okay.

  4. James Pollock January 20, 2016 at 9:52 am #

    How do any of these violate privacy? (I mean, more than having a social media account in the first place.)

  5. Caiti January 20, 2016 at 9:53 am #

    Wait, I thought anyone who had posted naked pictures of their kids was already locked up and deemed a sex offender for life!

  6. James Pollock January 20, 2016 at 9:54 am #

    PS – I’m a little bit concerned that you find #3 OK.

  7. Stephanie January 20, 2016 at 10:11 am #

    I don’t post pictures of other peoples kids w/o blurring because we have several friends who are foster parents.

  8. Elin January 20, 2016 at 10:13 am #

    I posted a picture of my baby’s first bath but I have decided that any other picture of her naked will never be posted. I have published a bath picture when she was about 2 years old but I cropped it to only show her head and shoulders. I feel that naked online should be her own choice. Other than that I don’t really follow any set rules.

  9. AmyO January 20, 2016 at 10:17 am #

    I think helicaptive is more apropos.

    The funniest/craziest/weirdest part of all this is that only your FRIENDS can see your stuff. So unless you a) distrust all of your family and friends who already know who your kids are, or b) are friends with hundreds of strangers, then you shouldn’t have any worries. I suppose there could be a c) you don’t know how to or don’t care to adjust your privacy settings.

  10. lollipoplover January 20, 2016 at 10:36 am #

    I thought the whole part of social media is that it’s SOCIAL. There are millions of pictures of children all over the world, the number of social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat) to share and overshare has skyrocketed. Yet our abduction rates have dropped from when we could only send those photos in the mail.

    Personally, I am entirely bored with most pictures of children and babies doing daily tasks or posing with participation trophies. Give me a baby juggling act and you may have my interest. I prefer the imperfect photos when things go wrong and kids make messes and instead of freaking out, the parent makes a funny post and we all commiserate that kids are little bastards. No one wants to steal them when you post what they did to your kitchen making homemade jam. Trust me.

  11. James Pollock January 20, 2016 at 11:14 am #

    “The funniest/craziest/weirdest part of all this is that only your FRIENDS can see your stuff.”

    Plus everyone at your ISP. Plus everyone at Facebook. Plus all the who’ve broken into either of these or your computer. If they can’t even keep your credit card numbers private (which they’re actually TRYING to do), why would you assume they can keep anything else private?

    Never put anything on the Internet that you wouldn’t show to your mom, your grandma, your local Sheriff, your clergy, or your employer.

  12. Emily January 20, 2016 at 11:23 am #

    If I had kids, I wouldn’t post nude photos of them on Facebook, and when they’re old enough to be able to express an opinion, I wouldn’t post anything that was embarrassing to them, but everything else on the list is a bit much. Most of kids’ big, photo-and-video-worthy moments don’t happen in isolation; they happen with other kids around, and yes, some of those kids might be other people’s kids, it might happen at their school, or at a sporting event where the kids have their last names on the backs of their jerseys (even, *gasp* a SCHOOL sporting event where the kids have their last names on the backs of their jerseys). But, these “safety rules” (or at least rules number 2, 3, and 4) are basically saying that you can’t post pictures of your child’s music or dance recital, birthday party, school play, soccer tournament, field trip, Scout or Guide ceremony (and some of those are a big deal, like the Eagle Scout ceremony for boys, or the Gold Award for girls), et cetera, et cetera. Sure, you can take a picture of just your child, before or after the occasion, posing in their sports uniform/ballet recital outfit/Scout or Guide sash full of badges/wearing the gymnastics medal they just won, but what if you also want to commemorate the experience as a whole? What if you want to look back on the year little Jimmy was six, and remember that he was on the softball team with Johnny, Sam, Sarah, Sally, and Susie, who also came to his birthday party that year? Sure, you don’t have to post every picture you take on Facebook, but a lot of schools and kid-oriented places say “photograph only your own child(ren),” because once the photos are taken, they can’t control where they’re posted. So, the result is, people have albums full of their own children posing for various occasions and activities (and maybe a few action shots, if they can manage to get one without any other kids in it), and if a casual onlooker didn’t know, they’d think that that person’s child was the only one participating. It seems like it’s “art imitating life,” because the hyper-focus on “safety” is already killing community, and as a side effect (for lack of a better term), we don’t see as many pictures of the “community” as a whole anymore either.

  13. gpo613 January 20, 2016 at 11:51 am #

    I posted a pic of my daughter on FB everyday for 4.5 years. I called it the Daily Elly. Most of my friends liked it and let me know when I stopped. Everyone knew what my daughter was up to every day. Guess what, no one ever came to try to abduct her.

    I refuse to life my life in the 4th Std Dev. That means worrying about stuff that will happen like 0.000001% of the time.

  14. lollipoplover January 20, 2016 at 12:03 pm #

    @Emily- I look at what I post of my kids as an example of how to responsibly use social media. I get tagged in group photos of them at sports, school, or at parties all the time. I rarely post my own photos because I am lazy. When you are in public and posing for pictures, it is common knowledge that this picture and the dozens of parents lined up taking them WILL be shared. These are usually happy moments and kids (and parents) generally enjoy sharing these memories (and I like being tagged as it requires no effort on my part).
    Don’t get in the group photo if you have privacy issues!

    My kids are now of ages where they want to be on social media. You can’t keep them under a rock forever or possibly monitor everything they see and do. Some of the worst offending social media users (young ones) who post overtly sexual or drug/alcohol-related pictures are from families who banned them from the internet and this is their act of defiance. These are 12 year-olds! It’s a constant conversation in our house about what’s appropriate and what crosses the line but the lines of communication have to be open or they will find ways to go behind your back. A baby butt crack or a team photo is nothing compared to what I’ve seen as a result of these *scare* tactics backfiring.

  15. Shelly Stow January 20, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

    This reminds me of the big brouhaha a few years back about the stick figures people put on the back windshields of their cars. The hysterics were saying don’t do that, that you were announcing to everyone that you had a small boy and a teenage girl–and a cocker spaniel–and that, along with the “My child goes to Roosevelt Elementary!” bumper sticker, alerted anyone who wanted to grab a small boy where he would be when school was letting out.

    I remember one comment on an article about this that said, “Well, wouldn’t anyone who wants to snatch a kid already know that they would be all over the place when schools were letting out?” And yet…when was the last time we heard of a stranger snatching a random kid getting out of school? Yes, it has happened, horribly, and it will most likely happen again. But the chances of it happening are less than the chances of the kid being hit by lightening and many, many times less than the kid being seriously harmed in an automobile accident on the way home in the car with the stick figures on the back windshield.

  16. EricS January 20, 2016 at 12:51 pm #

    Yay! Another parent seeing the light once more. Doesn’t feel so much better?

    And Lenore…”Helicoptivity”, “Helicoptives”…love it! I’m not about trends. But if it helps to direct people to something better (not superficially), then it serves as a pretty good tool. You should start trending that. 😉

    Sniglets. lol

  17. EricS January 20, 2016 at 12:56 pm #

    @James Pollack. Lol! Your comments made me laugh. In a good way. Like good standup. People laugh because they know it’s true and can relate. 😉

  18. EricS January 20, 2016 at 1:10 pm #

    @Amy O: To add to James’ reply. Many people aren’t online savvy, or they are just lazy, or both. And don’t have the proper security measures set up. But even if you have privacy turned on in your Facebook account, if you have even ONE “Friend” in your list that doesn’t, your privacy is shot. Facebook hasn’t fixed this, nor do they intend too. If ONE friend has their privacy off, anyone that can access their page, can indirectly access yours, and your content. Remember, as well, Facebook made this a few years ago, that any new photos you post will be viewable in this way. Older pics, before they implemented their new structure, will stay private. Basically, nothing is completely private online.

    Facebook and all other social media entities, aren’t overly concerned about our privacy. They are first and foremost, just like any media company, about making money. When we all signed up for Facebook, we literally gave them permission to use our content as they see fit. Regardless of what they tell us. That’s why you see Ads catered to you. Because they collect your data (what you post, what you like, what you click on), and customize which ads they think you would click on based on your data. Once you click on that, they make money. Same concept as “click and bait”.

    My rule of thumb: If you don’t want the WHOLE WORLD to know, don’t post it. Because once it’s online, privacy or not, it can be acquired if someone really wanted to. Or, as simple as someone you know re-posting it by mistake, or with their privacy turned off. Or you may have friends that are just complete idiots, and over share everything. Including stuff you send them. It’s how “leaks” happen. 😉

    But as this article says, a large percentage of the time, this is not detrimental to our kids. Just like most things sheeple are afraid of these days for their kids.

  19. E January 20, 2016 at 1:43 pm #

    I don’t do facebook and my kids are adults so I guess I’m not the target audience of the list of things, but I’d probably be a little more conservative about what I posted if a) my kids were minors and b) I even had Facebook, lol.

    But yes, people may think only their friends see things — but that is not true unless you rule your FB settings with an iron fist and do so very frequently. I have no idea how FB manages change now, but it used to be you had to go back in each time the altered things to confirm your account was set up the way you’d like.

    Most of all, I feel like if you have to think about all the “rules” you are probably posting too many photos of your kids period haha.

  20. James Pollock January 20, 2016 at 1:49 pm #

    News of the Weird just reposted a story from a few years back, where a school individually printed each child’s yearbook. They had to be printed individually… because every other child’s face was covered by a black bar.

  21. lollipoplover January 20, 2016 at 2:00 pm #

    Being savvy with personal information- like making announcements when you go on vacation on social media is one of my Never posts. Yes, we are happy your family is counting down the hours to your 2-week Aruba trip but announcing it on a public forum (couple that with pictures of your kids outside of your house) and it’s burglary for dummies.

    Helicaptives- should be the new term for this generation of kids who grow up with the fear of photography and Facebook. They digital boogeyman is coming for you…through your screens. He steals souls, one selfie at a time.

  22. pentamom January 20, 2016 at 2:16 pm #

    James if you read what she said about #3, it says she cropped out identifying information. So it fits with the general theme of the article — it’s not that you should “never post” these things at all, it’s that you should be smart about how you do it.

  23. Dienne January 20, 2016 at 2:17 pm #

    I read a something that said if you actually wanted your child to be kidnapped by a random stranger and tried leaving him/her alone in a car or something to accomplish that, statistically speaking, you’d have to wait 26,000 years for it to actually happen.

  24. Cassie January 20, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

    Come on, remember that photo board that your relatives put together for your 21st birthday… How cool is it going to be when Facebook automatically puts up a naked photo of you on your modern 21st birthday!!

  25. John January 20, 2016 at 2:22 pm #

    Kudos to Ms. Vollers for adding some much needed perspective to this matter! I remember back in the days when a team picture each of the local little league teams would appear in the local newspaper with the kids’ names listed. Because of all the unnecessary hysteria regarding the safety of our children, I’m not sure they do this anymore. Can anybody here with kids confirm otherwise?

    But like Ms. Voller, I too am getting sick and tired over all this hysteria about parents posting pictures of their kids on Facebook. So what if the world sees pictures of their kids? Big deal. What is so compromising about a photo of a kid playing soccer or youth football or youth wrestling?? I think it’s somewhat therapeutic for parents who post these kind of pictures of their kids because some parents enjoy bragging bout their little Christopher scoring a touchdown or holding up a wrestling trophy or winning a race. They’re proud of their youngster so they want to show his accomplishments to the world and I don’t blame them! It’s only natural.

    Fortunately there still ARE parents who don’t buy into all the hysteria because if you go to youtube, you will see many videos of kids in various forms of competition. When coming across these kind of videos, I will usually post comments congratulating the parents and the youngster on a job well done! Well, that’s precisely the reason they post those videos and that’s exactly what they want to hear!

  26. James Pollock January 20, 2016 at 2:25 pm #

    “James if you read what she said about #3, it says she cropped out identifying information. So it fits with the general theme of the article — it’s not that you should “never post” these things at all, it’s that you should be smart about how you do it.”

    So… posting pictures of yourself juggling babies is OK, as long as you crop out the identifying information???

  27. Elizabeth January 20, 2016 at 2:40 pm #

    I don’t post pictures of myself, my friends or my family on the internet because I value privacy. This isn’t a safety issue, in my opinion. It’s about volition.

  28. Rhonda Stamps January 20, 2016 at 3:06 pm #

    Awesome article!

  29. SanityAnyone? January 20, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

    Trophy to James Pollack for best answer!! (No trophies just for participation.)

    Bad guys in white vans know where to get children without FB. Don’t forget to remove toys from your front yard. Bad guys don’t check back yards for signs of kids.

    FB: Official stats estimate that 7000 gazillion pictures of kids and four times that many pictures of cats have now been posted on FB. This provides some level of herd immunity. The bad guys are so busy sorting through photos to find the best victims, that crimes against children have gone down. Whoever has a giant photo collection of kids (not their own) at dance recitals or random cats taped onto their fridge should be treated with suspicion.

    If your kid is teased for a photo you posted of the day he got his braces, just hop on FB and download an equally embarrassing photo of the loudmouth the day that jerk learned to make on the potty. That will shut him up. They are all in the same boat, see. That said, I post carefully because what they think and feel does matter.

  30. Stacey January 20, 2016 at 3:39 pm #

    Any time you step outdoors, your or your children’s picture is potentially being taken. Drones above, telephoto lenses on the ground…In the public realm, all things are public. it has always been that way. Minus the drones of course, but they are only a new camera platform.

    The internet and social media only speed up the exchange of pictures, not the existence of them.

    I still do not understand why google earth now blurs license plates and addresses in their photos. Those things are visible OUT IN PUBLIC. What are we preventing by doing that?

  31. Buffy January 20, 2016 at 3:42 pm #

    Did I miss a link to the actual “5 photos” story?

  32. Vince L January 20, 2016 at 4:03 pm #

    “I refuse to life my life in the 4th Std Dev. That means worrying about stuff that will happen like 0.000001% of the time.” Love this line! Most folks can’t math though…

  33. Donna January 20, 2016 at 4:31 pm #

    “Being savvy with personal information- like making announcements when you go on vacation on social media is one of my Never posts. Yes, we are happy your family is counting down the hours to your 2-week Aruba trip but announcing it on a public forum (couple that with pictures of your kids outside of your house) and it’s burglary for dummies.”

    This is another waaaay overblown fear … unless you happen to have friends who rob houses. I have never had a burglary case where the perps found stranger victims via social media posts about going on vacation … a couple who robbed friends and one who sold all his neighbors stuff on craigslist. I wouldn’t suggest posting your vacation plans on your neighborhood listserv, but your own personal Facebook page is safe … unless you happen to be friends with people who rob houses. Even if your Facebook page is public, it is still very safe. Burglars are simply not monitoring strangers’ Facebook pages to see when they go on vacation so that they can go rob their house. Far easier picking out there. I had to explain to one of my burglars today why parking in the driveway of an unoccupied house (owner deceased) in a white van (seriously) in a residential neighborhood at 11:00pm is not a good burglary plan so we are not talking about rocket scientists.

  34. pentamom January 20, 2016 at 5:10 pm #

    There’s no link to the original story, but you can Google “5 photos of your kids you should never post to social media” and it will pop right up.

  35. pentamom January 20, 2016 at 5:11 pm #

    Yes, James, that’s clearly the logical conclusion of what I said. Thanks.

  36. Vaughan Evans January 20, 2016 at 6:33 pm #

    Here is a good rule for children:

    -If he/she should approach an adult-for help, or information, it is ESSENTIAL that the child admit that he/she spoke first-and explained how the adult acted.(In 1978, I parked my motorbike on a street-in order to put oil in the tank. A 6 year old girl approached me. I told the father that the girl had approached me. He said in a kindly way, ‘No Problem”

  37. James Pollock January 20, 2016 at 6:56 pm #

    “Yes, James, that’s clearly the logical conclusion of what I said.”

    What you said wasn’t logical… hence the incredulity.

  38. Michelle January 20, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

    James, I think you may not have realized that everyone else is talking about the list from the article, not satirical list in your initial comment.

  39. Michelle January 20, 2016 at 10:00 pm #

    James, from the linked article:

    “1. Naked photos. I’m guilty of posting a few buttcrack photos, yes. My kids are 5, 3 and 16 months so clothes aren’t really a priority for them when we’re hanging out at home. When my older two were giving an impromptu piano concert in the buff a few weeks ago at our house, I had to snap a photo of them from behind, sitting side-by-side on the piano bench. It was adorable.

    But I wouldn’t post anything more revealing than that, both because of internet creeps and because I (mostly) respect their right to privacy. And I’ll stop when they’re older, I swear. Buttcrack photos of a 1-year-old are adorable. Not so much with an older kid.

    2. Other peoples’ kids. I’m not going to worry about posting a huge group photo of the preschool Christmas pageant or an action shot from my kid’s soccer game. I’m just not. Those events are photo-taking free-for-alls, so you should expect that they’ll end up on lots of parents’ Facebook pages. If you don’t like it, you should probably go back to your forest hut.

    For smaller groups of kids, just consider the kids’ parents. I have a few friends who are super conservative about posting pics of their kids online, and many, like me, who just don’t mind that much. I try to respect their wishes, and if a parent were to ask me to take down a photo that had her kid in it, I’d probably be a little miffed but I’d take it down. Not worth the argument.

    If you want to post the photo but protect the kids’ identities, don’t tag their parents and don’t mention them by name in the caption. You can blur their faces with a photo-editing tool but then you look a little crazy, tbh.

    3. Photos with identifying information. I don’t have to tell you it’s probably not a good idea to post photos of things like report cards or medical papers that have addresses, insurance info, social security numbers, etc. I once posted a picture of the hospital xray of my son’s chest/stomach, to show the tiny paperclip he’d swallowed that evening. But I cropped it so identifying info wasn’t in the photo.

    4. Photos at school or in front of your house. I don’t go out of my way to post these kinds of photos, but I don’t worry overmuch about it, either. Like I said above, if someone really wanted to know where I live, there are easier ways to find that out than driving around my town, looking for a house that looks like mine. But do make sure “add location” is turned off for your Facebook or Instagram photos of your house or school, as a basic precaution.

    5. Photos that would embarrass your kids. As your kids get older, you’ll probably post fewer funny/embarassing photos out of respect for their privacy. Unless you need to blackmail them. Which I would probably never do.”

  40. Jenny Islander January 20, 2016 at 10:53 pm #

    5 Pictures of Your Kids You Should NEVER Post on Facebook, or Anywhere Else, Ever

    1. Anything that you would find embarrassing if somebody had taken the same picture of you when you were that age and then shown it to about half a billion people and placed it in at least one archive that was publicly accessible worldwide, where it would most likely stay for decades.

    2. See item 1.

    3. See item 1.

    4. See item 1.

    5. See item 1.

  41. Emily January 21, 2016 at 1:37 am #

    Another thing–barring a foster parent, or a situation where the non-custodial parent is likely to kidnap the kids, why do people assume that pedophiles are on the hunt for THEIR SPECIFIC KID, out of all the kids in the world? I’m not a pedophile myself, but I’m pretty sure that someone who is, isn’t on the lookout for little Johnny from Blahblah Whatsit Elementary School in Anytown, but rather, for any kids, anywhere. Maybe they have a preference for boys or girls, or for a certain age bracket, but who seriously does any sort of in-depth “online research” in order to have a chance at snatching a kid they don’t even know?

  42. andy January 21, 2016 at 2:38 am #

    @Emily It is about being seen as responsible careful hardworking parent as much as it is about fear. They do not necessary think someone will snatch their child, they do not want to be seen as kind of parent that does not care about that. Not all, but in many cases it boils down to that.

  43. Adventure Kidz Mom January 21, 2016 at 4:38 am #

    We constantly get asked if we arent worried about our kids privacy with having a YouTube Channel… We have seriously considered it, and feel that the benefits they get from the channel (confidence, fun, adventure, family time, memories recorded) FAR out way the risks..
    We dont want to post things that our kids might regret us posting in the future, but we do want to capture this moment in their lives.. and share it with those we love

  44. sexhysteria January 21, 2016 at 5:38 am #

    Little girls should always wear veils and sunglasses if images of them will appear in public.

  45. Fiamma January 21, 2016 at 9:21 am #

    “I still do not understand why google earth now blurs license plates and addresses in their photos. Those things are visible OUT IN PUBLIC. What are we preventing by doing that?”

    Hey Stacey, I am going to go out on a very thin limb here and say maybe they do it in case someone is being stalked or an abuse victim is in hiding. Yes, I know, if a crazy person wants, they will find you, but it may just be one way of Google staying out of lawsuits in the end.

  46. LRH January 21, 2016 at 9:21 am #

    I especially applaud her, and will expand on those a bit myself, with respect to #2 and #5 (#2 especially).

    #2 “other people’s kids.” In public, you have no right to the expectation of privacy, but some people don’t understand or agree with this basic legal principle. They think, or believe, that you have to ask for people’s permission before you take their photo. You don’t, nor should you have to. Now, I do agree about one not being “paparazzi-esque” about it, in terms of aggressively going after someone, but otherwise it’s fair game.

    In other more “intimate” settings, I think it’s ridiculous for a parent at something like, say, a birthday party, to make a fuss over not wanting their child’s photo taken. This only puts a damper on it for everyone else who’s freely clicking away. It also taints the experience for someone like me in terms of that I like to have snaps of the places I’ve been, the experiences I’ve experienced, and the people I’ve come into contact with so that I can look back on these photos later. What, should my photo collection now encompass–well, nothing?

    There seems to be this type of thinking taking hold which says that all photo-taking has to be on an “invitation only” basis. That’s silly. It’s the most natural thing in the world for people to take photos of each other, and that includes children, for sharing/enjoying now and looking back on later. It’s normal to want to have your OWN photo collection vs just relying on someone else’s. There’s nothing to be threatened over. People are acting all scared over nothing. Photography is a good thing, and we’d be well advised to not let the few creepy 0.0001% spoil it for the rest of us. Besides, even if a creepy person sees your child’s photo and “enjoys” it in the wrong way–frankly, so what?

    #5. This can have me sounding like a dictatorship type of parent, but to me, kids don’t have the right to refuse pictures I wish to take of them. They just don’t get to have a vote on that sort of thing. It’s the most natural thing for me to want to take photos of my own kids for enjoyment later, and to me that is something a child is supposed to be respectful over. Period. In this respect, if not others, I see them as an extension of my household, and this isn’t a democracy nor should it be. Thankfully, as it is, our kids don’t mind and even enjoy it.

  47. Donna January 21, 2016 at 9:53 am #

    “I am going to go out on a very thin limb here and say maybe they do it in case someone is being stalked or an abuse victim is in hiding.”

    So, you really think there is a possibility that someone is sitting at a computer scouring google earth for the license plate of their abuse victim? And that a person who was so afraid to be found that she changed every means of very easily tracking her down, including her name, forgot to change her license plate? I mean, yes, ANYTHING is possible, but this is an extremely far-fetched scenario that only exists in really bad Lifetime movies.

  48. AmyO January 21, 2016 at 10:25 am #

    “Never put anything on the Internet that you wouldn’t show to your mom, your grandma, your local Sheriff, your clergy, or your employer.”

    Believe me, my mom, grandmom, priest, and employer all already know my daughter and what she looks like. I don’t know if the police know who we are, since we don’t commit any crimes.

  49. James Pollock January 21, 2016 at 10:38 am #

    “’Never put anything on the Internet that you wouldn’t show to your mom, your grandma, your local Sheriff, your clergy, or your employer.’

    Believe me, my mom, grandmom, priest, and employer all already know my daughter and what she looks like. I don’t know if the police know who we are, since we don’t commit any crimes.”

    You’re following the rule, then. (Looking at the original, though, I accidentally left one out… spouse.)

  50. James Pollock January 21, 2016 at 10:41 am #

    “#5. This can have me sounding like a dictatorship type of parent, but to me, kids don’t have the right to refuse pictures I wish to take of them”

    It’s not about TAKING pictures, it’s about SHARING them. If your position is “listen, I’ll embarrass my kids for my own amusement if I want to, and there’s nothing they can do about it!” then yes, I’d expect it to be followed by “Mwa-ha-ha-ha!” and a crash of thunder and lightning.

  51. James Pollock January 21, 2016 at 10:42 am #

    ” They think, or believe, that you have to ask for people’s permission before you take their photo.”

    It’s not legally required, but it is polite to ask.

  52. James Pollock January 21, 2016 at 10:45 am #

    “why do people assume that pedophiles are on the hunt for THEIR SPECIFIC KID, out of all the kids in the world?”

    Because, on the TV cop shows, every time some little Johnny or Susie goes missing, there will be a sequence where the cops JUST miss catching the bad guy, and they discover the wall o’ photos where the bad guy has been photographing little Johnny or Susie for months.

  53. Regina S January 21, 2016 at 11:11 am #

    This may be a little off topic, but it reminded me of a small issue that arose the other day. Our 10mo daughter had just had her bath and my husband put her on our bed where she rolled over and fell asleep on her belly. Her tush wasn’t in the air or anything, just sleeping peacefully on her tummy. She looked like a little naked angel; actually, rather like the kind of pose a professional photographer would make with a naked sleeping baby. I told my husband,” awe she looks beautiful like that, you should take a picture to put in her baby book”. He immediately retorted, “Naw, you should take it, nothing good can come of a man taking a picture like that.”

    With the way the world is today and photos being on the cloud, my husband, a medical professional, was terrified to take a beautiful picture of his own baby daughter that only showed the top of her baby bottom(considering what exposed private parts were showing). I personally wouldn’t share a nude photo like this on social media, but I would use it in her paper baby book we have at home. This would have been a classic baby book photo back when I was a kid and now parents-especially those with professional licenses at risk-are apparently afraid to even take them for private family memories. It just makes me sad.

  54. LRH January 21, 2016 at 11:49 am #

    “It’s polite to ask.”

    I submit it’s impolite to think I should have to ask every time I take photos with MY camera in a non threatening way simply for having memories. I don’t live in Amish country and I’m clicking away unless it’s a “delicate” situation on private property. It’s like a bridge, they’ll get over it.

  55. David (Dhewco) January 21, 2016 at 12:33 pm #

    I really wish there’d been some sort of facebook in the 80s. A few years ago, about 2011, I moved to another town but left some stuff in storage behind, including most of the family photo albums. It was robbed three months after I moved. We lost pictures of everything from an Easter from when I was 3 to pictures of me and some friends in 2008. Facebook would have changed all that. It would have been in a cloud somewhere. I have a total of maybe 5 childhood photos of myself left.

    This is why, if I’m ever granted a child, I’m going to upload the crap out of any pictures I take. I am lucky that I had a digital camera when my ex-gf’s kids were teens, so I still have some memories of them on a flash drive. Maybe 5 pictures of their early childhood, as well.

    My point is that social media is a boon to people in this regard. Photo albums can be burned, stolen or otherwise destroyed. If it’s in a cloud, they’re recoverable. Sharing allows others to see these photos, but that means that there are more computers that might have copies, in the improbable chance that something happens to facebook servers.


  56. BL January 21, 2016 at 12:38 pm #

    @David (Dhewco)

    You think it’s impossible that Facebook may go out of business some day?

    Remember all those people who bought “lifetime” memberships at video rental stores in the 1980s?

  57. SKL January 21, 2016 at 1:18 pm #

    I remember my facebook feed having this OMG post about including info about your kid’s school in your facebook photos. Because some pedophile could hack into your fb, find your photo, and discover there is a school in your town. A school full of children. Which they never would have known but for your stupid dumb facebook photo. You really don’t love your kids, do you?

  58. SKL January 21, 2016 at 1:19 pm #

    I’m surprised they didn’t mention potty training photos. Though I guess that might fit under a couple other categories, depending on the pose. 😛

  59. SKL January 21, 2016 at 1:28 pm #

    I did find it a bit creepy when I accidentally found that my kids’ part-time nanny (who isn’t my facebook friend) had posted photos of my kids (in bathing suits) on her page – as her profile pic. The post was public, otherwise I would not have seen it. It came up as a “people you might want to friend” because we have a mutual friend. I was like, hey, those kids look familiar….

    I am not weird about people seeing my kids in bathing suits, but some people are, and I was surprised Nanny didn’t think twice about posting public photos without even telling me. Makes me wonder – what else did she post for the world to see?

    Then again, I have posted photos that include other kids along with my kid. I didn’t ask permission to do that. But my posts aren’t public, either.

  60. Donna January 21, 2016 at 1:36 pm #

    David – I agree. My cellphone melted down over Thanksgiving. The old SIM card isn’t compatible with my new phone. Until I can access my old SIM card in some way, the only pictures I have from the last couple years are the ones I posted on Facebook.

  61. Donna January 21, 2016 at 1:45 pm #

    SKL – Is your nanny in the picture of your kids? I would find it creepy if my nanny was posting pictures of my kids alone as her profile picture because that is odd. It would be like me having my boss (when I had a boss) as my profile picture.

    I generally don’t post random pictures of other people’s children. Pictures of my kids with other kids or maybe even a picture of an individual kid at some event tied to me, like my kid’s birthday party, are definitely posted. But a random shot of somebody else’s kids connected to nothing related to me seems odd.

  62. David (Dhewco) January 21, 2016 at 2:10 pm #

    BL, of course they can go out of business. The point is those pictures are out there and not sitting ONLY in a storage locker, closet, or whatever. If you have friends who enjoy your pictures and you share them online, there’s also a small chance they’ll have them on their own system. Multiple chances, however likely, is better than the nil chance I have to recover the ones that were stolen from me.

  63. Papilio January 21, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

    @Emily: “Maybe they have a preference for boys or girls, or for a certain age bracket,”

    I assume they also prefer a certain hair and eye color, just like men who like blondes over brunettes or whatever…

  64. Fiamma January 21, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

    Donna – Hence why I said a thin limb. If I was a corporation and considering how litigious our society is, I would come up with various shitty and insane scenarios that are as far fetched as could be so I could prevent a lawsuit. Ridiculous, but you do have a reader here who said her own husband felt he could not take a photo of his own baby. We have labelled everything as DANGER. Very sad.

  65. SKL January 21, 2016 at 3:25 pm #

    Donna, no, my nanny wasn’t in the photo. It was just my kids poolside after a swim lesson.

    She has introduced my kids to a lot of her family/friends and she would say she considers them “family,” so I guess I understand what she was thinking, but I still found it a bit creepy to see my kids smiling at me out of someone else’s profile pic.

  66. John January 21, 2016 at 5:15 pm #

    I realize this might be a bit off topic but is the toddler in the picture above a bit on the chunky side? Think it’s time for him to get away from the computer!! 😉

  67. Donna January 21, 2016 at 7:23 pm #

    SKL – It is kinda weird to make someone else’s children your profile picture in my opinion. Post their picture on your Facebook page? Sure. But your profile picture? No. But I’ve never been one to get attached to or even be particularly interested in other people’s children.

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  69. Christina January 24, 2016 at 11:09 am #

    I don’t post school event photos with other kids, but that’s because I know some are foster kids, and at least one has a parent with a vested interest in not coming to the attention of a crazy person. Otherwise, I’m pretty relaxed about the whole thing. I keep my privacy settings updated and fairly high – and really, who is going to come steal my kids? My one biggie – I do not post about vacations until after I am home, and my FB friends know 1. not to tag me in photos if we are on vacation together, and 2. I will delete any comments made by friends referring to my being on vacation.

  70. Brian January 26, 2016 at 11:07 am #

    We need to add to this list:

    #6: Selfies with your kids in the front seat of the car.

    The other week my daughter was sick so she got to stay home from school. Since I was staying home I skipped the daycare and took my son to kindergarten myself. Normally the kids would ride their bikes if not sick, but I had to drive this time. I drive a 2 door and for efficiency I let him ride up front. It is not the first time he has done this either. I move the seat all the way back, seat belt proper, and booster seat.

    While waiting to do the drop off I snapped a quick selfie of us all and put it on Facebook. Not long somebody made a comment about him sitting up front, even asking my wife if I had permission. I decided to drop it and my wife answered back that I let him up front after we got to the school. I did the research on why kids go in the back and the only white paper I found (late 90’s) pointed out that only a few kids have died in the front seat due to airbags when properly secured. Out of hundreds studied maybe 5 kids. The rest was either rear facing seats, or failure to be properly belted.