Q: Is it OK for me to post photos of my child's
birthday party online?
Sharing photos online is the number one social networking
activity-more than 60 billion photos have been shared on Facebook
Posting photos of minors should give you pause, especially when
you include children other than your own. While your intent may be
innocent, privacy is a concern for many parents. Beyond general
safety issues, personal family situations, personalities and
technical know-how may all be a concern for parents whose child's
photo unintentionally may be copied, distributed and viewed
Before posting birthday snapshots online, ask yourself these
Have you asked permission? Use common courtesy and make a simple
announcement at the end of the party, "I'm planning on posting
photos on my Facebook account tonight. If anyone is uncomfortable,
let me know." You can also include a small note in the party
invitation stating that party photos will be posted online after
your event. Or create a small card to hand out with goody bags at
the end of the party, with your photo sharing access information on
it. "Thanks for helping us celebrate today! Party photos will be
posted on my Flickr account tomorrow. Email me at (your email) with
questions or concerns."
Who will see your photos? The ability to share with just a small
circle of moms or the entire Internet audience can happen with just
the click of a security setting. Facebook offers settings that can
be customized per album to limit the ability to share. Other photo
sharing sites offer similar security settings.
What are children doing? Parents may be sensitive if children
are caught in an awkward pose-picking their nose, making a pouting
face or stuffing their face. While you may think the photo is
innocent, adorable or even hilarious, look at it twice to consider
how another parent might feel. If in doubt, don't post.
Are there other options? Sites like Snapfish.com allow you to
post your albums online, invite specific visitors to view them and
give guests the option to order their favorites. An email
attachment is also a great way to share individual photos with a
few folks, rather than all your Facebook friends.
Sharon Cindrich is a mother of two tech-savvy kids from Virginia Beach. Learn more at sharoncindrich.com.
See more of Sharon's stories here.
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