Posting Children’s Photos Online

There was an interesting article in yesterday’s New York Times about the issue of whether parents should post pictures of their children on social media networks. As in many matters of parenting, there is a split among the VPP (very protective parents) and the LPP (less protective parents). The VPP worry about predators who might obtain personal information from the postings. The LPP feel that the threat is a bit overblown. Of course, it’s easy to tell the VPP that if they are that worried about it, just don’t post photos. But it’s not that simple. What if an LPP takes a picture at school function that includes a child of a VPP? And what if the LPP posts that? Assuming the picture was shot in a public place, there’s probably no invasion of privacy claim arising from the posting. So what’s the solution? There isn’t one. But there are few things that you can do. First, check the terms of service of any social media site you are considering. Note that while you are effectively providing the site a license to use the content you provide, there are some privacy settings you can choose that will limit the distribution. Second, think about your content. If it includes a photo of someone else’s kid, you might want to check with the parents before you post it. Whether you’re a VPP or an LPP, it’s always a good idea to be considerate.