Social media has become so crucial in our lives currently. We have created communities with friends and families on social media. Often times, we want to share our lives with them, to update them about ourselves and those around us. And mostly, this is done through pictures and videos.
Precious moments such as graduations, weddings, pregnancy, babies’ birth, and more are shared on these platforms. We share them to share our joy with our intimate community. Others use social media as a storage for pictures in case something is to ever happen to their phones. This is because a lot of people in under-developed countries do not appreciate cloud storage.
Unfortunately, sharing pictures and media of your babies on social media is prone to some dangers. As we continue sharing Stories of Our World in the #WinterABC2022, I thought it important to share this topic with fellow parents. Before we share such intimate moments with online communities, it is important that we are aware of some of the dangers that may befall us and our babies.
That way, we are able to make conscious decisions, and prepare on how to deal with the consequences.
Dangers of Posting Babies’ Pictures on Social Media
Understanding Terms of Service of Social Media Platforms
One of the problems we do is neglect what the terms of service for a lot of these platforms state. We are quick to agree to them and their policies, when we should be curious to know how our information will be stored and used. When I was preparing for this post, I read Meta, Twitter, and Snapchat’s terms of service.
All of them had almost the same policy when it comes to how they use the content users share on their platform. They stated that you give them permission to use the content you share on their platform. While you still hold the intellectual property rights for any content you share, you give them a royalty-free license to share them with other service providers.
They also have a license to store, copy, and edit any content or media posted on their platforms. This is because any media or content is taken as public information once you hit share.
Twitter further states that once you share, you grant them a royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense). This authorizes them to make your content available to the rest of the world and to let others do the same.
They hide behind research to allow us to be okay with our information distribution. What this allows is the distribution of our images that can be edited and sold.
How Images Are Dangerous
There are rising cases of identity theft on social media. This is because there is readily available information for someone to use for their own personal gains. Criminals extract this information and can use them however they want. Recently, we have seen a lot of scammers use pictures of women with their babies to get others to donate.
They lie that they are homeless and have a little baby in their care who needs immediate help. Then, they provide their gofundme or cashapp links. When they make enough money, the account ceases to exist. Until another one is created and the same circle repeated.
Social media allow location tracing
Introducing Snap Map was perhaps one of the most helpful things. It allowed users to share where exactly they were. That also include geotagging when posting on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. However, it also attracts criminals.
A stalker can easily identify your house and it’s security flaws from the pictures we share online. Likewise, it allows them to know more about you which can be used against you. For those with older children, sharing your babies’ hobbies give abductors the opportunity to prey on them and know their weaknesses.
It is also easy for someone to easily trace where you live, how your house is setup, and more. Creating a security risk for you and your family.
Sexualization of kids
Another danger is that posting images of children on social media allows them to be sexualized by predators. As concerning as it is, there are pedophiles who will look at children and think the nastiest things done to them. Unfortunately, you cannot control how people think of your children. But that is a danger.
It is also concerning when parents dress their children in older clothes. This allows predators to sexualize children comfortably.
Another issue it raises is it increases chances of the child being groomed by a predator. The know all the information of the child, which allows them to act like a caring friend. Children prefers those that are familiar to them and their likes, this simplifies the job for predators.
Social media challenges a child’s identity
For parents with teenage children, another important thing to know is that social media shapes their identity development. Issues of insecurity are developed on such platforms. This is because they are constantly comparing how they look with others they interact with on the apps they are on.
They see how popular other kids are and compare to the interaction they get on their own content. They measure their likeability on such apps. Comparing to others also gives them issues of acceptance and relatability.
All these are dangers that social media might have on your children. It is important to share such information with caution.
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