ONE of the many reasons, I don’t post photos of myself and my family onto any social media or photo sharing site is the ease at which it can be shared, stolen, distorted or manipulated.
I know of people whose photos have been taken off their Facebook and Instagram pages and put on to various sites, including pornographic sites.
Most of us naively think our photos cannot be distorted or shared, however, in the hands of someone with photoshop skills, you could end up looking like you’re doing something you never set out to!
The article below describes how a parent found a photo of her infant all over the internet, on various sites, used for memes etc.
Upsetting and disturbing to say the least…
“As a Cyber Safety educator, I see this sort of thing occasionally. It probably happens more than we realise, as most parents never find out that their image of their child has been stolen.Watermarks can be easily removed by anyone with a basic knowledge of photo editing, so that is not the answer. Buying stock photos can be expensive, so bloggers, advertisers are always on the lookout for images that are uploaded to Facebook or Flickr that they can grab, hoping that the owners never find out…which on the whole they don’t.My advice is that you never share any photo of a family member you won’t be happy to have stolen on any social media or photo sharing site. There is nothing you can do to prevent it.
You are incredibly lucky if you ever find out about it. Not everyone shares their family photos on social media or photo sharing sites, because of this type of theft, more and more parents are taking precautions, but if you do, make it harder for thieves to steal your photos.1. Set your privacy settings so that you never post publicly.2. Consider sharing your children’s photos, via email, or private Facebook Group with strict rules around on-sharing. Use a Dropbox or private group in Flickr to share.3. Be careful what you share and how you give permission to use your family photos.4. Consider removing shared photos and archiving your social media posts, there is no reason to leave them up there.Last thought. Ask yourself why you are sharing the photo of your child, is it with people who love your child? Or are you simply showing off? How will your child feel about this photo when they are 16?Unfortunately, I hear some really awful stories from parents about things that go wrong on social media. And the one thing that makes it worse is, no privacy settings and a LOT of personal content online, if something goes wrong, it will be much harder to control than if you are careful about what you share, and take it down after it has been seen.”
Another commentator on the above article described how her photo was taken and used:
“My photo was stolen and used in an ad for married men seeking to cheat. It was horrible, and getting them to remove it was complicated.”
It may therefore, be prudent to ask yourself the above questions, each time you’re tempted to share a photo. Is it worth it?
Have you ever had an upsetting experience with any photos you have shared?
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