Social Networks Experts warn of the risks of so-called oversharing or sharenting, the overexposure of minors in social networks by parents. They do not know how to talk, even walk, much less use the Internet, but many babies already have their photos on the net, Even your own personal account.
For a few years, the presence of minors in social networks has become a frequent phenomenon. In fact, they appear on the network even before birth. The first kicks, ultrasound, the first photo in the hospital, now it is held, now it is already … Many personal accounts on Instagram have become the traditional family photo album where you can see how the child is growing.
According to a study prepared by the computer security firm AVG in 10 countries, including Spain, 23% of children have a presence on the Internet even before birth because their parents publish images of ultrasound during pregnancy. The percentage multiplies quickly a short time later since 81% is on the internet before reaching 6 months. From that age, minors can even own their own email accounts. According to AVG’s research, more than 5% of children under 2 years old have an email account or their own profile on a social network.
In total, parents publish about 200 photographs of their children under 5 years of age on social networks each year, based on a report published by Nominet in 2016. This means that before turning 5, 1,000 images of each of these children will circulate. And those figures were three years ago … Faced with this phenomenon that has been called sharenting (combination of the words “sharing” (parenting) and “parenting”), experts warn: the photos of children can reach more hands than desired.
On many occasions, parents excuse themselves by referring to the privacy of their account, which in the beginning would mean that the published photos are limited to their circle of contacts. But it’s not like that. Also, what about the privacy of minors? “Parents believe that the exposure they make of these images will be limited to the circle of their direct acquaintances, but their scope can be much broader. First,” continues the expert, “most maintain a public profile on the networks, with what that image could be seen by any user.
On the other hand, although the parents have limited the exposure of their profile by making it private, sometimes the acquaintances themselves or family members share those images that have reached them through the networks (even without having an authorization to do so), which broadens that scope that photography can have, “says Silvia Martínez, director of the University Master’s Degree in Social Media: Management and Strategy at the UOC.
In addition to the danger of photography coming out of the circle of contacts, the social networks themselves acquire rights to the images when they are published, according to UOC. For example, Facebook ensures in its conditions that “If you share a photo on Facebook, you give us permission to store it, copy it and share it with others (in accordance with your settings). […] You can delete the content or your account in any time to terminate this license. In any case, the content you delete may still be visible if you have shared it with other people and they have not deleted it. ”
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The most serious case comes when these images “can be used as pornographic material worldwide through, for example, the extraction of the image of their genitals when they are naked. They can also turn children into possible victims of child pornography. through substitution, with applications and computer processing “, they explain from the Catalan University.
From the Friendly Screens platform they advise: “we have to make sure that the photos that we upload in which our children appear, are ALWAYS dressed. In addition, we must remember and always keep in mind how our children would feel if in the future they had to face an image of their parents uploaded to the Internet. Could it damage their self-esteem?
The study ‘Not at the dinner table: parents and children’s perspectives on family technology rules’, prepared by the universities of San Francisco and Michigan, provides data on this point: 56% of parents share potentially shameful information about their children, the 51% give data with which they can be found and 27% hang directly inappropriate photos.