For most moms, posting pictures of their children on social media doesn’t get a second thought. But a recently proposed bill in France challenges the notion that pictures of kids online are harmless. In fact, it may be an infringement upon their right to privacy.
Sharing pictures of your family on social media is called “sharenting" - a contraction of sharing and parenting. This can help moms feel connected to other moms, which is especially important in those early, isolated days. Parts of the trend, however, have turned dark.
It’s becoming increasingly popular for moms to embarrass, shame, and prank their kids for likes, follows, and shares. Some pranks are innocent, but others are clearly fracturing a child’s fundamental trust in their parents. It also begs the question, “How will this influence this child in the future?”
By the time a child is 13 years old, there are on average 1,300 images of them on the internet, none of which the parents or child have any control or rights over. It may be a logical inconsistency to teach children bodily autonomy without preserving their autonomy to their image and reputation online. What may be cute or hilarious now, could be highly embarrassing or shaming to them in middle school. A further terrifying statistic is that "50% of the photographs exchanged on child pornography forums are initially posted by parents on their social media accounts." This should at least put a pause on our quickness to post.
The solution is still unknown, but the bill raises some important questions: If the protection of child privacy is one of the responsibilities of parents, what does this mean for social media and where do we draw the line between expression, art, connection, and protection?
Read more (via Le Monde)