Posting an innocent picture of your child proudly on social media: It should be possible. Unfortunately, images of children can easily end up in the child pornography network, according to the Experts Agency on Online Child Abuse (EOKM). Even if only your child’s face is visible. Plus, you’re depriving your child of the opportunity to choose whether they want to be placed online, according to these experts.
Criminals can use any image of your child to distribute in a child pornography network, whether it is original or photoshopped. Pictures on social media also end up in the hands of Facebook and Google, which run all sorts of algorithms on them, such as facial recognition. If you post a photo of your child, realize that you have permanently lost control of that photo,” says Arda Jerkins. She is director of the Agency for Expertise in Online Child Abuse (EOKM).
Of course you want to show it to the world if your daughter can make the splits. However, in my opinion, this is not very convenient. Just like the beach pictures in swimwear. By the way, children’s faces can also be easily cut out and captured on pornographic photos,” says Jerkins.
Nine times out of ten nothing happens
The founder of Bureau Jeugd en Media, Justine Pardoen, thinks the same about it. “Beach photos are not only safe, but photos that radiate cuteness of a child are often wanted material for criminals. It’s likely that nothing will happen to a photo nine times out of ten, but what can help is that your child is not photographed from the front, but unrecognizable From the back or the side, not the whole body.”
We see this kind of photoshopped photo, but we don’t know who the kids are
According to Jerkins, whether your child’s photos were used for these purposes is something you can never find out. “We can see these kinds of photoshopped images, but we don’t know who the kids are. We know very little about how criminals look for photos of kids to use in a different context. But the photos are often taken directly from social media accounts. Social networking, so always set your profile settings to privacy. Everything on your phone is often uploaded to the cloud, so secure it too, for example, with two-step authentication.”
One day, your child will want to have their own account on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat or other social media. And then? This is how you raise your child digitally, according to Ouders van Nu.
Decide for your child
Pardoen points out another issue with posting pictures of your child on social media. That is, you make the decision for your child whether it is online or not. “Making a decision for your child is not a bad thing in itself: we constantly do it for the child’s benefit. However, putting your child on social media is never in your child’s best interest.” You are depriving your child of the opportunity to choose for themselves about how they present themselves online, as Pardoen says. Children may later feel unhappy or intimidated about their photos on social media. From the age of nine into pre-puberty, children get their own ideas and your child can really express that.
According to Pardoen, it’s a good idea to ask your child’s permission to post pictures of him from a very young age, even if the four-year-old doesn’t yet know what to say “yes” or “no.”
Jerkins agrees, too. Also talk to your child about sexual development so he knows when a particular connection is inappropriate and feels free to talk to you about it. Child abuse occurs in ninety percent of cases with someone from the environment, for example in foster care, a neighbor or a family member. So keep that in mind, as well as the risks online.”
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