Posting comments about or photos of your child can be a nice way to share your child’s special moments. Images of your child and comments about him cannot be entirely removed from the internet, they become part of his digital footprint. Find out how your child feels about you posting photos, videos, and pieces of information about him.
It is common to share photos of and information about children online, you might:
• share family vacation snaps on social media
• write a blog about raising children and parenting
• contribute to Facebook groups
• contribute to advocacy.
These can be nice ways to keep family and friends up to date with how your child and family are going. They can also be ways of contributing to your community or trying to make a difference for a cause that you and your family care about.
If you write about your child or post photos of him online, it means that you are creating a digital footprint for him. If you do this a lot, it could be quite a big digital footprint.
Your child’s digital footprint is part of his ongoing online reputation. What you post online about your child can never be fully erased from the internet.
It is important to find out how your child feels about the photos and information you share about him, your child might:
• think it is cool
• prefer you not to post or write anything about him at all
• prefer that you ask him each time you want to blog, post images or comments that relate to him
• feel it is OK for you to post to a closed group chat but not to your public Instagram feed or Facebook page.
It is always a good idea to ask your child if he is happy for you to post a particular photo or video of him. Children as young as three can say whether they like a photo of themselves. If your child is too young to give a preference, just use your own judgment.
You might also get a conversation started by showing your child some parenting blogs, Facebook pages or Instagram feeds. You could ask your child what he thinks about the way the parents on these platforms talk about their children online.
Even if your child is OK with you blogging or posting about him now, he might ask you to delete a photo or blog post of him, it is important to respect your child’s request.
It is very important to balance privacy and sharing in blogs and posts about your children:
• Avoid mentioning your child’s name on public sites.
• Avoid posting photos that might identify where your child lives or goes to school.
• Avoid posting personal information that could identify your child, like date of birth or address.
• Know that the photos you post could be shared or modified.
• Use message apps or email to send photos to family and friends.