Do you post photos of your child on Facebook? Do you enter your child in competitions such as ‘The Cutest Baby’? In this digital age it is so easy to share photos of our gorgeous cherubs. But putting photos of my children online is something I wrestle with a lot and something that my husband and I often discuss.

I regularly post photos of my children on Facebook so that interstate family and friends can see them. Yes, I’m one of those people who adore my children and want everyone I know to see how cute they are. I do try and restrain myself… but it’s not always so easy. They are adorable and it is just too convenient to share photos that way. Although, as happy as I am to share the photos, I’m also careful who sees them and I regularly check my privacy settings so that I ensure that only my friends can see them. I also trust that those friends view them, do so responsibly. Did you know that anyone who can see your photos on Facebook can also save those photos? I’m astounded how many people don’t know that. The primary reason why I don’t have my photos so ‘friends of friends’ etc can view them. But I’m also always mindful of the fine print. Facebook have often been criticised for their confusing privacy settings and unclear ‘ownership’. You can check out their fine print here. As I can’t control what other people do with my photos or who they show them to, I’m conservative and would never post photos of my children without clothes. Once on the Internet, that content is essentially there forever. Things that are erased can often be recovered, etc. I would hate to think things I’ve posted might affect their future career. Already some employers want to see your Facebook account before hiring you. We’ve seen in the news that people have been fired for inappropriate tweets or Facebook posts. Not that anything I’d post would be in that category. But it does serve as a reminder that your social media presence has wider ramifications than you may have previously given thought to. We also need to be mindful that our children haven’t given us their permission. When they are older, they may not appreciate what we’ve posted about them.

I realise I’m being contradictory here, as I post photos of my children on this blog and I cannot control who sees them on this blog. I’ve also written about some fairly personal things. This is the current discussion with my hubby. I love seeing photos of other blogger’s children. I’ve been reading some blogs for years, and although I’ve never met them, I feel like I know them. I’ve even seen their children grow up over the years… Even if it’s only been online! Hmm.. So the jury is still out on that one. For the moment I post a few, but it will forever be under discussion.

But one thing that isn’t up for discussion, because in my mind it’s a big fat ‘No Way’ – are these online cutest baby competitions. Big W have one running at the moment. Tempting. My little man is so cute. But read the fine print. I know it’s boring. It’s also scary. These two points worry me the most:

– When an entrant submits any materials as part of the Promotion, including photographs (“Content”), the entrant, unless the Promoter advises otherwise, licenses and grants the Promoter and Woolworths, their affiliates and sub-licensees a non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, worldwide, irrevocable, and sub-licensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish and display such Content for any purpose in any media, without compensation, restriction on use, attribution or liability. The entrant agrees not to assert any moral rights in relation to such use.

– The Promoter and Woolworths collect personal information in order to conduct the Promotion and may, for this purpose, disclose such information to third parties, including but not limited to agents, contractors, service providers, and prize suppliers. Entry is conditional on providing this information. The Promoter may also use the personal information for purposes set out in its privacy policy located on the Promoter’s website at www.fujifilm.com.au. The Promoter may, for an indefinite period, unless otherwise advised, use the information for promotional, marketing, publicity, research and profiling purposes, including sending electronic messages or telephoning the entrant. Entrants should direct any request to opt out of marketing, or to access, update or correct information to the Promoter. All entries become the property of the Promoter.

So before immortalizing your child’s photo (and/personal details) on the Internet, consider who will see it and who are you signing ownership of that photo and information to. I’m not judging here. Make your own decisions. Just do it from an informed standpoint.

Written by Nadia

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