Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Am I Exposing My Child?

Being both a proud mommy......and mommy blogger, as well as a mompreneur....I have in the last year begun to share my life as a woman, wife and mother to the rest of the world....both to the good....and unfortunately to the bad as well.

The other day, I was privy to a fellow mom/etsy seller who had recently found photos that she had taken of her daughter for her website, in amongst porn photographs on a particular website. Rightly so, she was extremely mortified and angry. That an unknown person, would blatently take photos of her child (without her permission) and use them in a potentially sick and perverted way.

I have to admit....it has made me question my decision to put pictures of my child and family on the web, when potentially these photos could be used for purposes that I am not privy to, nor would I be approving of should I know.

Since having this debate re-brought to my attention the other day...I have thought about, discussed and rediscussed the pros and cons....the reasons for and against.....and have come to my version of a conclusion....which I am allowing myself to change at ANY time!

I have decided to (even with the potential threat) continue adding photos of my family within my blog and my etsy site. I feel that at this time, the visual impact that these photos have is still more positive than negative and have been very fortunate NOT to have my photos pilfered.

To help aid me, I was fortunate to come across a company called Tynt Insight, which will help me monitor who is copying any of my photos on this blog! It provides you with a direct link to any text/image that is copied...and how many times it is copied.

This way, I will feel more in control of any potential situations.

I have in the meantime...removed any photos on posts that even though I feel they are innocent and adorable (naked butt shots)....unfortunately others may find value in.

I whole heartedly feel at this point that I have and will continue to take steps that will insure my childs safety....with some level of anonymity.....

Another debate topic....

HOW much of yourself should you share with your readership? There are some that have exposed the town in which they live...their first and last names....etc etc....

There are also those blogging mamas where EVERYTHING is private....and not even a photo is uploaded.

I would love all insights....where do you stand on both putting pictures of your children on the web/and your level of anonymity with regards to your blog?


Maven said...

These are GREAT questions - and ones I wrestle with all the time.

I was posting personal pictures for awhile, but for myself decided to write a little more anonymously and with fun "stage names" because I have to keep my work life very seperate from the world of blogging. Though I do have one picture that I share of myself, because I think people like to know who they're reading.

I love the idea of being able to track the photos you post.

Super discussion idea!

Heather@WHMB said...

This is definitely a topic up for debate, and I choose to put myself out there too. I do agree that people make more of a connection with faces and names, and I hate to think of the dirty, pervy people that do otherwise. There is always risk, just like there is risk getting in a car to drive to the grocery store. Just keep your guard up just enough to be aware, in my opinion. :)

Aunt Spicy said...

Excellent questions. And thanks for the tip on tracking your blog information/photos! On my blog I dont do personal photos...but if someone took the time they could figure out a lot about me...sometimes even that freaks me out.

Michelle said...

That is horrible!

I try to stand the middle ground, not sharing too much, but sharing enough so that I can connect with other bloggers.

It is unfortunate that we even have to think about these things.

Evolving Mommy Catherine said...

I struggle with this question all the time. It took me over a year to decide that using my daughters name was okay. I worry about her picture though. I am not sure if there is a right answer to this question though.

I agree with Michelle. It is terrible to have to even think about these things. the world can be such a wonderful place but it can also be such a scary place. I guess for now I choose not be to be scared away from sharing and making connections...we'll see if that changes.

Amber Page Writes said...

I'm totally conflicted about it - and your story just made me want to vomit a little. I do blog under my own name and post pics (sometimes), but only because when I started, I didn't really intend to become an actual "blogger." It was just for far away fam...

And now? Well now, that's who I am, so I'm stuck.

Michelle said...

I dont worry about it... maybe I should give it more thought...but if someone wants to find you they'll find you with our without your blog.

I post pictures and stories and I talk about living in OK. Dont usually give my town, but no one could find our house any way.

I once posted a picture of my 3 year old running away naked. you could barely see her. Someone called it kiddie porn. We took it down ASAP

MrsM said...

Thanks for sharing Tynt Insight with us-I'm definitely using that now!

I think that it's natural to be very concerned about the safety of our kidlets on the internet. I share some appropriate pictures, but not my children's names or any personal information on any of us (not even the state we live in)...and I waffle about the pictures sometimes too.

There are no easy answers on this one.

Mama Michie (aka Michaela) said...

These are things that I have thought about as well. I put myself and my immediate family out there. I use our real names and post pictures of us. There are things that I won't show (like certain pictures of Noah) or disclose... my husbands job and where he works... other family members names and where I may be at any given time, because if someone really wanted to I'm sure the could find out a lot about me since we've got our own domain.
In the end I try not to worry about it too much. I like the idea of tracking the pictures though... may have to look into that!

the fourth door said...

Right after I uploaded my wedding pictures to Flickr I noticed that one of my stand alone bridal portraits was snatched and added some guys spank bank collection. You better believe I made my entire account private after that.

I don't have kids, but I do have an adorable nephew that I love more than anything. Aside from the family shots at my wedding on facebook, I'll never put a public picture of him on the internet. And my sister (his mom) feels the same way.

I just don't believe that pictures of children belong online. The risk is just too great and needless in my opinion. And while the rest of life is risky too, everyone tries to minimize what risks they can.

This isn't to say that I think mommy bloggers are bad, or should stop putting pictures up. I enjoying reading about and seeing such cute faces on my google reader.But the parents need to be aware of what can happen, and how they'll feel when/if it does happen to them.

Just thought you'd like the perspective of a non mom blogger. :)

kymidiva said...

when i first started blogging and joined facebook, my husband was very concerned about my putting pics of the kids online. you can control who sees your pics on facebook, but not so much in the blogosphere. it's a little scary, and i've heard so many stories about pics being stolen and used for evil purposes. i have a couple of pics of my kids on my blog, but i'm really careful about it.