Parents should refrain from posting their kids' photos online

Photos and videos of children shared by parents on social media can sometimes turn up on disturbing websites, accompanied by inappropriate comments.
Photos and videos of children shared by parents on social media can sometimes turn up on disturbing websites, accompanied by inappropriate comments. PHOTO: ST FILE

Parents should avoid posting photos of their children without approval (Kids, too, care about online privacy. Just ask Gwyneth Paltrow, April 4).

There are many parents who love to share their children's personal stories online, some even creating a digital identity for them.

However, the shock of realising that their photos have been shared online without their consent will have an impact on these children.

When the children grow up and discover such photos were shared without their consent, how would they feel?

Though young, children deserve basic respect, and it isn't difficult for them to understand the meaning of consent.

There is no going back when children, having grown up, realise that their lives were made public.

Photos and videos of children shared by parents on social media can sometimes turn up on disturbing websites, accompanied by inappropriate comments.

As with all decisions parents make from the minute their child is born, the decision to post personal photos should also be based on what's right for their family, and parents should ensure that they get those privacy settings right.

If parents do decide to share such photos, they should try asking their children what they're comfortable with and take some precautions.

They should choose the photos carefully and watermark the ones posted publicly.

They should also ask friends and family to refrain from posting photos or videos of their children.

These measures are also useful in reminding children of the dangers of living in a digital age.

Singapore should also mandate that Internet providers give these children the right to be forgotten.

Cheng Choon Fei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 06, 2019, with the headline 'Parents should refrain from posting their kids' photos online'. Print Edition | Subscribe