Social Question

Ranimi23's avatar

Why people use their children's photos as their avatar over the internet?

Asked by Ranimi23 (1878 points ) April 8th, 2010

I don’t get it at all :-/

Why whould you use your baby (1 month years old, for example) as your photo? Remember everyone can see that avatar, all kinds of dangerous people online you don’t know and you don’t want to meet.

I think this phenomenon must be stopped. Parents should protect their children and not to publish pictures of them, especially if they are minors. What is your opinion on this issue?

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65 Answers

Seek's avatar

I think it’s a serious case of overreacting.

There are babies everywhere you go. No one is going to see a picture of my kid, try to track me down, and travel 3000 miles to find him. If he’s going to be picked up by a paedophile or a baby-stealing psycho, it’ll be the guy who lives four houses away, and they can plainly see him through the chain-link fence.

MarcoNJ's avatar

Uh, maybe because they’re proud of their child.
Where’s the harm in that?

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I think you’re right on. I’ve often wondered that myself. I’d NEVER do that. I have several FB friends who do that. If you want to put pictures up, fine. Put them in your photo albums. But not on an avatar. I think it’s poor judgment.

ubersiren's avatar

Because we want to show off our new cutie patooties. Back off.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Do you really think people are going to remember exactly what one baby looks like and go on a wild goose chase to find it? Highly unlikely. And besides, most babies are a lot better looking than the parent that gave gave birth to it. That’s why they use their baby’s pic instead of their own.

ubersiren's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr So cute! Is that yours?

Also, all those famous kids on youtube… they’re safe.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMbww-nCVQg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OBlgSz8sSM

Hey internet predators, you like this baby?
<———————Come and get ‘em! I’ll even narrow it down for you… we live in Maryland!

thriftymaid's avatar

Chill and mind your own business.

Ranimi23's avatar

@ubersiren , What if you knew pedophiles looking at the picture and think all kinds of unnice thoughts followed? Does it make any difference?

You don’t know who see it. He can right click is mouse and save YOUR BABY picture in his computer. I didn’t mean he will come to your house, it’s less likely.

Seek's avatar

::nodnodnod:: That’s mine!

Oh! I love the little girl who kicks the monster’s ass!

Facade's avatar

I’d guess that they’re just proud of their kids. It’s highly unlikely that someone would hunt down a baby they’ve seen on the web.

DarkScribe's avatar

Gee. Some people should hire themselves out a professional worriers – they are so good at it.

Seek's avatar

@Ranimi23

I’m not the thought police. You can think whatever the hell you want at any time, be it about the Scarlett Johansson, the Gerber baby, or my own kid.

Now, come into my house, and I’ll chop your head off and feed you to my bulldog, but we’ll deal with that if it comes to it.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr: He looks just like you! He’s a sweetheart. :)

I think using your baby’s picture as an avatar is not a problem. As @Seek_Kolinahr said, the pedophile down the block is a greater worry than the one 3000 miles away.

I do worry, however, when parents make facebook pages for their very young children. Not only is it ridiculous but that actually can cause some problems.

ubersiren's avatar

@Ranimi23 What about this… What if my baby won a contest and was in a magazine photo shoot and a perv bought that magazine and took it home and jerked his baby batter all over the picture? Yeah, that’s gross, too. Is there something wrong with baby pictures in magazines, too? I’m really not worried about it. If by chance some stranger sees my baby’s fully clothed picture and gets off on it, it will have no effect on me, just as it would have no effect on the parents of the kids in American Baby magazine.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Ranimi23 I think you’re being a bit overly dramatic. Am I supposed to live in a bubble because there may or may not be some sicko out there looking at my baby’s picture and enjoying it more than he should? I think not.

Ranimi23's avatar

Babies and children have rights protected by law, since parents do not ask their child if he would like his picture to be posted publicly in front of millions of users, so something wrong here. I think parents sometimes forget their role because of the pride, that is a little silly in my opinion.

sarahjane90's avatar

Maybe they are just proud of their children, or perhaps they would rather not post a photo of themselves. There could be many reasons!

MissAusten's avatar

Because my kids are cuter than I am. Abductions by total strangers are extremely rare.

Hundreds of strangers a week see my kids in person. Playing in the yard, shopping at the grocery store, taking a walk, waiting for the school bus. Statistically they are at a higher risk of being snatched by someone they know than by a complete stranger. For all I know, some pervert could be sitting in his house right now jerking off to a photo he took of my kid at the beach with a cell phone.

The only alternative is to lock my family away, and what kind of life is that? We take measures to be safe and teach the kids how to respond to different situations. But what it really comes down to is crossing your fingers and going on with life, not letting fear rule you.

DarkScribe's avatar

Maybe they should put a false moustache and sunglasses on their babies. Would that be better?

Seek's avatar

@Ranimi23

I’d love to see a source that supports that claim.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Ranimi23 Babies have rights protected by law? To what? Not have their photo taken? Actually, here in the US that’s not true. Look at all the celebrities that are always on the fronts of magazines with their kids. It’s no different for normal, non-celebrities. They can legally take a picture of their child and post it wherever the heck they want, as long as it’s not on a child porn site.

Ranimi23's avatar

Children and babies have the right to privacy the same as adults. A parent who don’t takes care of his child, using his pictures over the web for SHOW-OFF you can sue him for negligence.

DarkScribe's avatar

Why would anyone who had an unhealthy interest in children peer at a tiny little avatar when places like Flickr have several million high resolution images of children? There seems to be a lot of knee-jerking, but little brain tugging. Maybe all this excess knee energy should go into something useful like sports or athletics.

thriftymaid's avatar

@Ranimi23 Try again; your legal analysis fails. Who is “you?”

Seek's avatar

@Ranimi23

Source?

Even adults don’t have the right to not appear in photographs. Just think of every picture you’ve ever taken at an amusement park. I have one on my wall, taken at Sea World. There are 54 people in it, other than myself and my husband. I didn’t ask their permission to photograph them. And as long as I never sell the photo, I don’t have to.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Ranimi23 Google “babies”. With the abundance of pictures readily available on the Internet, I doubt they’ll be looking for any of Fluther’s baby pics.

earthduzt's avatar

Its not so much the come get them, its the fact they can take ihe photo and mainipulate the photo and do some foul things with it, possibly trade them in their reverted underworld circle and fantasize about your kids or whatever. It’s a sick world out there. The avatar thing is not so bad, but full photos of children on like facebook can be easily taken off. I have a problem putting pics of my daughter on FB and the like

Seek's avatar

@Ranimi23

1. Advice column. No legal bearing.
2. It’s an extensive column. Could you direct me to which paragraph I’ll find your statement supported?
3. I’m not Canadian.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Ranimi23 Have you even read the first link? It says nothing about baby pictures on the Internet…

Seek's avatar

And I just speed-red the second link, and it is about privacy of information, not photographs.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@earthduzt Facebook has a privacy setting. Only people you approve can see your pictures. Lots of websites offer privacy settings.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

The third link also says nothing about photos on the Internet. It talks about protecting their personal information. Example: social security number, address, phone numbers, etc. Maybe you should’ve actually read the material before trying to prove your point.

Ranimi23's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 , Personal Informaion is also including PICTURES.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

I agree Ranimi23. I would never use my child’s picture as my avatar or any other online purpose——for safety’s sake. I have no problem with posting my own picture as my avatar, but even then there is alway’s a security issue. It’s a nutty nutty world out there.

Seek's avatar

@Ranimi23

Not according to your source, or the word “photograph” would have appeared in the links. I don’t think they just accidentally left it out.

Seek's avatar

@Ranimi23

According to the Act referenced in your second link:

”(3) the term ‘personal information’ means information (including name, address, telephone number, social security number, electronic mail address, and physical description) about an individual identified as a child, that would suffice to locate and contact that individual;

Ranimi23's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr , a PHOTO is information. Do you want to argue on that? I don’t think so :-)

ubersiren's avatar

@Ranimi23 So now it’s not about internet predators, it’s about the child’s right to privacy? That’s not what your original question was about.

Remember everyone can see that avatar, all kinds of dangerous people online you don’t know and you don’t want to meet.

Now you’re ditching this idea and saying it’s all about his right to privacy?

Let’s get something straight. We as parents make all decisions for them. All the decisions. At least until they are able to speak and can tell you that they want pb&j rather than turkey and cheese. As babies, their parents will make all sorts of decisions based on what they feel is best for that child and his future. This includes whether or not the child is vaccinated, circumcised, photographed, how he is dressed, who touches him, where the child goes, who watches after him, etc.

If we are good parents we will make decisions that will not endanger our children. As his mom, I don’t believe that me putting his picture online will endanger him as said in your original question. As for his right of privacy, if I relinquish making decisions for my child to protect his right to privacy, then I’d never do anything for him. What if he grows up wishing that I didn’t get him vaccinated? What if he grows up and is pissed that I did/didn’t get him circumcised? What if he grows up and hates the clothing I dressed him in? There are all sorts of decisions that parents make which are a gamble on what their child would ultimately choose. Sharing photos included.

On that note, do you know what I think is really dangerous? Getting photos developed at your local drug store. The photo people have seen you (the parent) and the child, they know what town you likely live in, and they usually get your phone number! Gasp! Have you seen the movie One Hour Photo?

Ranimi23's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr , a PHOTO of YOU is physical description of you.

Seek's avatar

@Ranimi23

And, the Act specifically states “To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit the sale of personal information about children without their parents’ consent, and for other purposes.”

Seek's avatar

@Ranimi23

So, if it’s not for sale by someone I don’t want to be selling the information, no law is being broken.

Again, read your source.

Seek's avatar

It is called the “Children’s Privacy Protection and Parental Empowerment Act.”

tranquilsea's avatar

There are lots and lots of things that parents do that I think, “hmm, I would never” and so I never do.

If I felt like a parent was unknowingly risking their kid(s) I would gently let them know what they may have missed and leave it at that.

I had one picture of my daughter that I used as an avatar from when she was a baby, but I only used it 10 years after the picture was taken.

I try to tread the line between being sensible and being paranoid.

My biggest challenge now is trying to impart to the children just how important it is to keep their on-line information as private as humanly possible.

KatawaGrey's avatar

Until the child is eighteen, the parent legally makes all of that child’s decisions. If a parent puts up a picture of the child online, legally speaking, it is the same as if the parent put his or her own picture online. It is no longer and intrusion of privacy if the parent decides to put the picture of the child up because the parent knowingly and willingly did so.

DarkScribe's avatar

This thread seems to be heading in the direction of a Hijab store.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I just did this yesterday because he’s perfect-looking and I am in awe of his beauty. There are perverts everywhere – he meets tons of people on the bus, train, what have you – anyone could be a pedophile waiting to go home and jerk off to my baby’s face – that is their problem and while I think it’s a problem, I will not live a sheltered life and neither will my children.

AstroChuck's avatar

I’m entirely too narcissistic to post any avatar picture of any child other than myself.

DarkScribe's avatar

@AstroChuck I’m entirely too narcissistic to post any avatar picture of any child other than myself.

Are you Dennis the Menace”?

partyparty's avatar

Parents post photos of their babies / children because they are proud of their offsprings.
Their choice. Their consequences – if any.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Removed by me.

Seek's avatar

I have to wonder – if @Ranimi23 has such a problem with people using their kids’ faces as avatars, what would she think of the video I posted to Facebook yesterday, of my kid air-guitaring to the Star Trek: TNG theme song in the nude? ^_^

gailcalled's avatar

On the other hand, I use a picture of adorable me as a 4-year-old on Facebook, which I visit every 6 weeks or so.

Response moderated
cak's avatar

Trying to figure out if he’s really concerned (annoyed) about privacy, creeps or parents that just love to show off their children?

casheroo's avatar

I have my youngest as my avatar on facebook. Because I want to. He’s gorgeous.

ubersiren's avatar

Removed by me because I’m finished here.

YARNLADY's avatar

It’s such a far fetched idea that we simply discount the actual potential for harm, and rightly so. As others have pointed out picking out any single individual baby is like saying someone might get hit by lightening – it happens but we don’t all hide in our houses our whole life.

Riding in a car is one of the most dangerous things anyone can do or let their babies do, but again, we don’t all just hide in our house our whole life.

Draconess25's avatar

@ubersiren This includes whether or not the child is vaccinated, circumcised, photographed, .........
Did you have to throw in circumsision?

It really doesn’t bother me; there’s millions of babies out there. What gets me is this: If someone sees a baby as a person’s avatar, what if they think the person is the baby?

DarkScribe's avatar

@Draconess25 what if they think the person is the baby?

They could add “Goo Goo” to their replies to that person.

mollypop51797's avatar

Because their babies are their bundles of joy at that moment. But, I don’t do it. My friends do, but when they’re young (1–2 months) babies, I think that they’re safe because chances are there are a lot of babies that may look like them. As long as the parent doesn’t give out personal information, then I think that it’s safe enough.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@AstroChuck Good one! I liked that.

Response moderated

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