It can be irresistible to post a cute video or photo of a child on social media, but experts warn that photos can go viral or be exploited by others and never be deleted.
“You need to be aware that when you post on the internet, it is there forever,” says author Kay Walker. “Even when you delete a photo, it’s retrievable. And anything that’s posted can be replicated in a moment and it can be spread and you can’t take it back.”Listen
Slow down, think twice, recommends author
Walker recommends people slow down and think twice before they post a child’s photograph. “You want to be aware of context. Understand that people are out there making judgements and may take an innocent photo and turn it into something it’s not. So, think ahead when posting and know that it’s going to follow your child for their entire life.”
Once a child becomes a teenager, they may not want photos of them as a child to be circulating, and they can’t be taken back.
For people who do decide to post a photo on social media, Walker recommends they check their privacy settings and make sure the photo can only be seen by friends. There are settings that make the photo more difficult to share but it takes work to find and change them. And even that is no guarantee the picture cannot be circulated.
Kay Walker is a co-author of Super You: How Technology is Revolutionizing What It Means to be Human.