Online surveys ask 'Do children belong on Facebook?'
We all know someone who over-shares on Facebook, Instagram or on other social media platforms. Besides being fairly irritating, is it doing any harm? Well, if it is ‘sharenting’ (the over-sharing by proud parents of posts and pictures of their children) experts agree that this could be putting children at risk.
Not only does a Facebook feed full of friends’ offsprings’ every movements frustrate many onlookers (they are technically friends with the parent, not the child, after all) it does question the privacy rights of those children. If a parent puts pictures up for all to see of their child running naked around the garden, this may well delight close friends and family, but is it really fair on that child for your ex boss and old school acquaintances to see that? Young children have no say on the matter, and no way of deleting or untagging unwanted pictures in the same way that we do. Unfortunately, once the pictures are shared and re-posted there is no telling where they will end up. That child will, one day, apply for a job and those pictures may well still be lurking online, having been re-posted and shared. Not only must we be aware of the impact of our childrens’ digital footprint, but there is a risk that someone can steal their identity, use the pictures elsewhere or discover very personal information (such as their address and date of birth).
By gauging your opinion in online paid surveys, it was revealed that the average parent will post almost 1,000 photos of their child online before they turn five. According to a different online survey, over 74% of people said they had doubts about posting baby images on the web, but they decided to follow the crowd and do it anyway.
What is even more worrying is that the online surveys revealed that 51% of parents offer up personal information alongside their photos that could identify a child's location, and 27% have shared inappropriate pictures of their baby. The online survey conducted by ParentZone also discovered
that nearly one-fifth of parents have never checked their privacy settings, and less than half of the parents surveyed were even aware that photos often contain data about where it was taken. The recent flurry of ‘first day at school’ pictures on Facebook easily reveal the child’s name, age and where they go to school. Unfortunately, not necessarily all of these views and shares may be well-meaning.
So, what can parents do to keep their children safe? Ultimately, with such a vast platform such as Facebook, you can never really be sure where your pictures will end up. It comes with a risk of picture stealing, potential grooming or identity theft. There is also the ethical question of whether much of this information should be shared online. But if you must do it, here are five tips for safer ‘sharenting’:
What do you think about the rise of ‘sharenting’, and the results of the online surveys? Is it the right of any parent to share anything they want about a child, or should the child have the same right to privacy as adults? Let us know your opinion on our Facebook page, and don’t forget to sign up and share your opinion in online paid surveys at Opinion Outpost.