Cybertraps Live – Sharenting – 004

Parents Oversharing Kids on Social Media – aka “sharenting”

  • Celebrities …
  • Hilaria Baldwin controversy – Instagram feed filled with photos of her infants and growing children
  • Tamara Ecclestone
  • Chrissie Teigan
  • Elizabeth Hurley
  • No clear roadmaps – “owning your story vs. paparazzi”
  • People say they stalk instagram and Facebook to stay connected, but without actually connecting, it’s just voyeurism.

Legal issues regarding posting of child photos

  • Kids currently have no legal right to prevent their parents from posting photos of them online
  • Parents may have legal recourse if someone (even a family member) posts photos of their children without their consent
  • A grandmother in the Netherlands forced to take down photos of her grandchildren from Facebook
  • In general, thanks to the First Amendment, speech outweighs privacy concerns in the U.S. The European Union is the reverse – no First Amendment and very strong protections for individual privacy

Practical risks

  • Data harvesting – there is a vast industry, from social media sites outward, eager to harvest personally identifying information about your children, which will affect their entire lives. Why not slow down the process?
  • Misappropriation of images
  • Digital kidnapping
  • Impact on children
  • Psychological cost of relying on external gratification
  • Impact on body image – dysmorphia

Ethical considerations

  • Bad role modeling – if your child is too young to consent, then you are posting without the conscious agreement of your child. If your child is old enough to express an opinion and you ignore them, you are teaching them that consent is not important.
  • Lack of respect / use of social media to punish or shame child
  • Preemption or co-option of the child’s own formation of identity
  • Whose brand is it anyway? Economic motivations for using children in social media
  • There are alternatives
  • Think about online “friendships” and who can see your stuff.
  • Put family photos in a password-protected folder in a cloud storage or online photo service
  • Photobooks/chatbooks
  • Send USB sticks

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