Photo Predators? Thank Goodness the News is Informing Us!

What do they mean just “COULD”??? Don’t pussyfoot around this issue, media. Do your job and scare us properly about a non-existent threat!

We won't be safe until we watch this helpful feature!

We won’t be safe until we watch this helpful feature!

36 Responses to Photo Predators? Thank Goodness the News is Informing Us!

  1. BL November 17, 2014 at 6:28 am #

    So somebody is going to kidnap a photograph? Molest it? Sell it street drugs?

    Maybe they can stick a drawing of a gun in its back and demand its wallet.

  2. Jill November 17, 2014 at 7:23 am #

    There have been cases of people putting pictures of their fancy new stuff on instagram and Facebook and getting burglarized as a result, but the idea that some kook is going to kidnap your children because they see their pictures online is just stupid.

  3. ring November 17, 2014 at 7:39 am #

    This is silly. It would be a lot more useful to teach people not to broadcast to their 1,200 “friends” that they’ll be going on a week-long cruise leaving their house empty. Even then most likely nothing will happen, but it’s a much more valuable piece of security advice.

    The thought that some stranger is going to catch a glimpse of your little angel in a Facebook album and just be overcome with the willingness to commit a bunch of felonies is simply fantasy. More than that, it’s a sign of how screwed up our society is that we spend so much time thinking about it.

  4. SOA November 17, 2014 at 7:39 am #

    I don’t recommend having public fb pages where you post pics of your stuff and when you are going to be out of town and stuff like that. That is probably not a good idea. But if you only have friends on fb you trust and make your page private, there is no risk and no danger.

  5. MichaelF November 17, 2014 at 8:02 am #

    Yet another scare tactic to gain eyeballs and ratings for a television station. I wonder if these sorts of stories were around before Journalism became a business and it was all about ratings and market share. Since these lead-ins always get you to watch the station, and endure the hype that builds to just before the story airs, which will only be on the last 5 minutes of the news program (while they keep reminding you “After this break…”) so you watch the whole thing.

    Stupid is all I can say.

  6. Greg November 17, 2014 at 8:43 am #

    For this particular brand of stupid, I blame this person’s column:

    This is called “click bait.” It’s designed not to inform people but rather to shock and get eyeballs on it and to get people arguing with each other in the comments section so as to generate audience for their web page. Slate does this ALL THE TIME. It’s really annoying.

  7. E November 17, 2014 at 9:10 am #

    I’ll admit that I got annoyed with myself when I realized that some of my posts on Instagram included the location. It’s completely unnecessary to have that as part of sharing a photo (and I should be tech savvy enough to have prevented that). I imagine a lot of people end up doing this when they’d just prefer not to (risk aside).

    I will say that I think the apps like foursquare make me wonder why people use them. It seems like the easiest way for someone to find people at a theater production or sporting event, leaving their home’s empty for a known period of time.

    Not being able to watch the story linked, it’s hard to know what they covered.

  8. M November 17, 2014 at 9:54 am #

    I had someone tell me recently they read an article that said putting your new baby’s photo on FB is an invasion of privacy, because the baby didn’t consent to it. And you are creating a digital history for that child without their consent.

    Guess you could say that about ANY photo you take of your kid, whether you put it on FB or not.

    If you are worried, up your privacy settings to only include people you trust. But then, they are the ones most likely to kidnap and molest your kids anyway….

  9. Montreal Dad November 17, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    Pssshhh, hedging his scaremongering. This guy’s an amateur…

    Here, let me fix it for you…


  10. lollipoplover November 17, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    Photo Predator?

    Like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the jungle shooting out Snapfish photos saying “Bleeding makes it die”?

  11. anonymous mom November 17, 2014 at 11:38 am #

    @M, I read an article in Slate or Salon where a woman claimed that parents should obtain consent from their children before a diaper change. We have taken the concept of “consent” a bit too far.

  12. Andrea November 17, 2014 at 12:11 pm #

    Full disclosure, I generally don’t post pictures of my kids online, but that’s mostly because I’m too lazy to do so (I’m more a passive FB user). But that being said, the whole “online photos of your kids = kidnapping risk makes a really interesting assumption: It assumes that kids aren’t ever in public.

    If I am going to kidnap a kid, I’m not going to go online and do a bunch of research on FB or whatever and locate the child and stalk them until the time is right. I can just going to sit school or day care, pick a kid that looks good as he or she climbs into their parent’s car, follow them home, and then break into their house at night and grab the kid. Who needs FB? FB doesn’t put kids at at more risk of predators than they’ve always been. Creepy Uncle Bob doesn’t need FB, he’s sitting right there at the dinner table.

  13. Tiny Tim November 17, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

    I think I’ve posted this here before, but a great revelation to me was when I realized that some of my friends with children truly believed that their kids were kidnapping targets not because there are rapist pedophiles out there, but because their kids were so damn special that of course someone would want to take them.

  14. Amanda November 17, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

    I have posted pictures of my son on Facebook, but I don’t use his name, instead referring to him only as the Little Guy or Little Bear. It’s not really a privacy thing, but it just seemed weird to me for him to have an internet presence before he even acquired his first language.

  15. marie November 17, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

    …because their kids were so damn special…

    Reminds me of the guy who showed me a picture of his niece, his first foray into uncle-hood, and told me that she is the most beautiful child he has ever seen. I laughed and said that I had some nieces who were also the “most beautiful.” I didn’t realize that he was dead serious and had no inkling that other people felt the same way about the children they love.

  16. Gary November 17, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

    “Photo Predator?

    Like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the jungle shooting out Snapfish photos saying “Bleeding makes it die”?”

    HEY HEY HEY!!!! *I* make the Predator puns ’round here 😉

    “I read an article in Slate or Salon where a woman claimed that parents should obtain consent from their children before a diaper change. We have taken the concept of “consent” a bit too far.”

    links or it didn’t happen…

  17. Gary November 17, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    well whaddya know, it was…


  18. EricS November 17, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    The problem isn’t “sharing” among “friends”, it’s OVER SHARING that is the problem. No one needs to share anything and everything online. eg. what they ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And what dessert they had. Or their feet with a beach backdrop.

    For the most part, it’s not even about “sharing” anymore. Whether people realize it or not, it’s about them SHOWING OFF. “Look at me! Look at me!” attitude. Some people are so into being seen and recognized, that they post every little bit of info about their life online. Never thinking about the consequences.

    As I’ve mentioned before, rule of thumb, NEVER post anything online you don’t want the WHOLE WORLD to know. Privacy measures in place or not, once you post it online, it’s there forever and for EVERYONE to see. It just takes ONE friend to have an unsecured account, and your info gets snagged into the internet. And it only takes seconds.

    That being said, regarding safety issue for your family, as in predators targeting you. Highly unlikely. Trust, no random person is going to target you. Anyone willing to stalk you or your family, will have a plan. And they will be specific. Keeping an eye on you and your family for a period of time. So even if you don’t have a social media account, they’ll find other ways to get at you. The likely hood that someone is trolling online to find families who share (or over share) their info, is as remote as random kidnappings.

    Just another story for ratings.

  19. marie November 17, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

    Some people are so into being seen and recognized…

    …that every pic posted from her bridal shower is a selfie of the bride with a guest. Now THAT is one boring bunch of photos. At some point, people will realize that “good photo” is not the same as “in focus,” and that “good photo album” can mean “great storytelling.”

    Psst. EricS…I had chicken noodle soup for lunch.

  20. Gary November 17, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

    “The problem isn’t “sharing” among “friends”, it’s OVER SHARING that is the problem…”

  21. Buffy November 17, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    As I’m eating my lunch of rice and cucumbers/dip (I KNOW you were all wondering…) I’m thinking of my house when my kids were little. We had a swingset and sandbox in the backyard, a garage full of bikes, scooters, a doll carriage, etc., random toys all over the yard/driveway, along with sidewalk chalk art. Someone would NOT need to painstakingly track down my address from a FB photo – it was CLEAR I had children at my house! Do those who are worried about kidnappers really not have any toys or evidence of kids in their yards? I can’t imagine it.

  22. SOA November 17, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

    Tiny Tim: I joke all the time to my friend that freaks out and thinks someone is always going to kidnap her kids that they would bring them back 2 hours later because they were fed up with them. Her kids, like mine are wild. I know nobody wants mine.

  23. J- November 17, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

    This seems a lot like the same mentality that the radical Islamists use to justify stuffing women into Burqas: men can’t control themselves around women so lets cover up all the women. Pedophiles can’t control themselves around children, lets hide all of the images of children. Its foolish and extreme.

  24. lollipoplover November 17, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

    Oversharing photos has such a double standard in the media.
    So don’t share photos of young children…because photo predators. But every news channel reports on photos of Kim Kardashian’s oiled ass blowing up social media (and show that thing-that can’t be unseen-everywhere). Huh.

    @EricS- I had pistachios and a clementine for lunch.
    Saving my calories to steal some Halloween candy from my kids later.

  25. Warren November 17, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

    It is just as likely that they were followed home, after making their purchases, or brag one to many times, as they were targeted from the internet.

    For people to think that b and e perps are using the internet, is giving them way too much credit.

    As for the over sharing……you may think it is awesome that little whoever grew a 1/4 inch. But not even you friends give a crap.

  26. Stacie November 17, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

    Buffy: That scenario reminds me of the whole “don’t put your stick figure family on your car because kidnappers!” thing. As if someone couldn’t tell there were kids (and even their genders and approximate ages) from the car seats, toys, and spilled Goldfish right there in the car.

  27. Jenny Islander November 17, 2014 at 4:40 pm #

    According to local police, the number 1 indicator that will determine whether your house is robbed tomorrow or not is this:

    Is it locked?

  28. anonymous mom November 17, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

    From Slate: “I suggest parents talk to their kids about consent—and permission to touch and be touched—in infancy or toddlerhood, and certainly not as late as their teens. Even before your child can talk, you can model consent. Have you watched parents change diapers? Some of them will just grab their kid, throw them on the table and start doing all sorts of things to their body without any gesture of consent-seeking. Even with an infant without language yet, you can express what you want to do: “I’m going to touch you right now, in order to get you a fresh diaper so you can feel better, okay?” Starting early, in ways that you can, normalizes consent—rather than non-consent—right from the start.”

    I will admit that I make no gestures of consent-seeking when I change my four-month-old baby’s diaper. She does not seek my consent when she poops and spits up all over me. I do not need to seek her consent to get her in a clean diaper. Quid pro quo.

  29. BPFH November 17, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

    “What do they mean just “COULD”??? Don’t pussyfoot around this issue, media. Do your job and scare us properly about a non-existent threat!”

    Yeah, that’s about what I was thinking years ago when a local television station (in SE Michigan) ran a story about “flesh-eating disease” and how you could prevent yourself (or your family) from getting it!!!!! (Film at 11.)

    Turns out the advice was, practice good hygiene! If you get a cut, CLEAN IT!

    (Admittedly, even then I was decidedly cynical…)

  30. Donald November 17, 2014 at 7:52 pm #

    AA helps people with alcohol addiction. They then expanded to include drug addiction as well. I wonder how long it will be before they will start helping people with their fear addiction.

    “Hello. I’m a fear addict. I admit it freely. I can’t control myself from viewing the most gruesome things that I can find on TV. My favorite News channels are the ones that make the news as dramatic as possible even if they have to change the facts to do this. Today I’m proud to say that I have earned my white chip. I managed to get through 7 days without watching CSI.”

  31. Emily November 18, 2014 at 8:38 am #

    Wait a second…..didn’t the Sears catalogue (and other stores’ catalogues too, I’m sure) show pictures of children modelling underwear just a generation ago, and now it’s “unsafe” to publicize any photo of any child, at all, ever? I mean, okay, the Sears catalogue didn’t have the reach that the Internet does, but that’s the closest equivalent I can think of, because people didn’t have the Internet in the 70’s and 80’s.

  32. Cynthia812 November 18, 2014 at 8:48 am #

    @anonymous mom- it’s an interesting perspective on consent: I’m going to tell you what I’m going to do, then I’m going to do it, and you’ve consented. That’ll be a useful lesson in life. Not that I think said infant is actually learning that lesson. He’s probably thinking “about time you got to this, slave”. People like this don’t understand the tyrannical nature of children, and when said child is a couple years older, they are going to wonder what the heck happened to their peaceful life.

  33. SOA November 18, 2014 at 11:53 am #

    I remember that get consent to change your kid’s diaper. I died laughing at it then. I used to have to chase my gross boys around the house to change their diapers. They liked chilling in their own filth for some reason. If I waited to get “consent” they would sit in poop for hours.

  34. Vicky November 18, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

    This, in my humble opinion goes hand in hand with police, courts and legislature arresting young men who download free porn that contains child pornography. These guys go on the sex offender registry for the rest of their lives. Paying the government as they go. Getting politicians elected/reelected as they come up with a new ridiculous restriction to keep these dangerous ‘monsters’ even more contained.
    It makes sense that they now must create a fear of sharing your children’s images on social media.
    Because everyone knows that if your child’s picture is grabbed by some perv or God forbid! photo shopped! then put out there freely for other pervs to look at, well your child has just been sexually molested through osmosis by a man looking at their picture. This must be stopped!!!

  35. Bella Englebach November 22, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    What I think is the same article is running on the Philadelphia Inquirer website. It is three pages of speculation – in which “psychologist Barbara Greenberg” is quoted extensively with no other points of view presented. Without providing any data she says “”There are stalkers and malicious people who can take your pictures and put them on sites where heads end up on other people’s bodies … socially isolated people who spend all day on Facebook stalking people, who get turned on by children.” But wait, there’s more! If you post pictures of older kids, you could really mess them up. “Children can be very sensitive about their appearance during their tween years. If you post photos of your child during an “ugly duckling” phase, you could be setting them up for self-esteem issues in future.

    “Of course you think they’re beautiful- you always will. But one day they may look back and say, ‘Oh, I was fat,’ or ‘Oh, I was ugly.’ They’re going to see it differently than you. And instead of those pictures being tucked away in the family photo album, they’re on display for all their friends to see,” Greenberg says.”

    And just to top it off, grandparents are stupid. “Don’t be afraid to check in on your mom and dad’s privacy settings before you share pictures of your children with them, Greenberg says.

    “Sit down with them and give them a tutorial, or have them grab any teenager they know who can teach them,” she says. “Don’t share anything with them, and don’t let them post anything until they figure it out.” ”

    If you’d like to get all this helpful advice yourself, check it out here:

    signed, Grandma