Why you should not post photos of your children on Facebook (or any social network)

It is no secret that social networks are a mirror of ourselves in which we show ourselves not as we are, but as we want to be seen. The networks are full of photos in which we go out happy, surrounded by friends, doing super fun things, but who publishes something when they are sad? Nobody, because nobody wants to be seen sad, right? A trend that has become fashionable is sharenting, or sharing photos of our beloved children (minors) to, in a way, show them off, and this is too dangerous.

If any of your relatives have had a child in recent years, you will have seen how their Facebook wall and Instagram profile was filled with photos of babies and that, later, it evolved into a photo album of the child on the beach, putting faces funny, etc. They are very beautiful photos and everything you want, but it is a dangerous activity that keeps the debate on the privacy of minors alive. Just because they are your children does not mean that you can ignore their right to privacy and privacy.

You never know where an innocent photo of your child can end up

Who does not have a photo of a little nude on the beach? Or a picture without clothes after his mother took him out of the shower when he was only a year or two? Sure you have some. The difference is that that photo was kept in a family album, which was not shared with the rest of the world in a massive way. Now that album has been moved to social networks, and when you upload the photos you stop monitoring them.

You have that false sense of security that, because you have few contacts / followers, no one is going to see the photo and that, therefore, nothing happens (why upload it then, if no one is going to see it?). But it is enough for a single person to download the image and spread it, and I don't think I need to tell you where the photo of your child naked on the beach can end up, right? You sure don't want your dear, pretty baby to end up in a child pornography ring. It sounds tremendous and apocalyptic, but things never happen until they actually happen, and then there is no going back.

A concise and unclear law

Within the framework of European legislation, we have the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which you can access from here. From my point of view, it is concise when it comes to minors since the regulation is more focused on the treatment that companies (such as Facebook) make of personal data. In the area of ​​minors under 16, the following is stated:

Such treatment [of personal data entered by minors under 16 years of age] will only be considered lawful if the consent was given or authorized by the holder of parental authority or guardianship over the child, and only to the extent that it was given or authorized. Member States may establish by law a lower age for such purposes, provided it is not less than 13 years.

This removes the bulk since minors do not have to be aware of the data they are entering on these platforms, so it leaves it up to parents or guardians to teach their children what they should or should not enter and monitor their use. However, it does not say anything about the very act of sharing content in which minors appear. Thus, it is up to countries to apply the law based on their own legal systems.

Cases in which sharenting has been punished

Italy, France, Austria and even Spain have already spoken about sharenting, although unfortunately, the thing is not at all clear, leaving in many cases at the mercy of responsibility and common sense whether or not to share photos of minors on social networks. And we all know what happens when responsibility and common sense are used.

Recently, the Court of Rome (Italy) has issued a ruling that condemns a mother to delete all the photos she posted on Facebook of her son, under a fine of 10,000 euros. For its part, France approved a regulation in 2016 by which a father could be sentenced to up to one year in prison and fines of 45 thousand euros for publishing photos, videos or intimate details of their children (school hours, clothes they wear).

Austria was also the protagonist some time ago for the complaint that a son brought against his mother for sharing photos of him when he was little. This, according to Austrian law, is punishable by a fine of up to 10,000 euros. For its part, the Spanish Supreme Court said in 2015 that sharenting can only be penalized if it is carried out without the consent of any of the minor's parents or legal representatives, that is, if your father gives consent, he can upload photos of you even if you are minor, and we return to the same: responsibility and common sense.

My advice? Don't do it even if you can

We return to the idea of ​​before: that the law allows you to do it does not mean that you have to do it. Before uploading a photo, think about how you would feel if your parents were showing those intimate photos of when you were a baby to all their friends and people who were on the street. Put yourself in the shoes of your 18-year-old son, when he sees what you did with his image, privacy and dignity, and weigh.

Social networks are a cruel, ruthless world with hardly any barriers (beyond those of "common sense" and "responsibility). It is up to you to make the right decision.

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