Tuesday, June 6, 2023




I haver often wondered at people posting photographs and images of their children on the internet and social media, especially images that may prove embarassing for them in later life. I believe that the day will deservedly come when the posting of any images of children on the internet and social media will be made illegal.

France has taken a step in that direction by banning what is known as “sharenting”. More of that below.

What is sharenting?

According to Wikipedia:

Sharenting is the practice of parents publicizing sensitive content about their children on internet platforms. While the term was coined as recently as 2010, sharenting has become an international phenomenon with widespread presence in the United States, Spain, France, and the United Kingdom. As such, sharenting has also ignited disagreement as a controversial application of social media. Detractors find that it violates child privacy and hurts a parent-child relationship. Proponents frame the practice as a natural expression of parental pride in their children and argue that critics take sharenting posts out of context.

Academic research has been conducted over the potential social motivations for sharenting and legal frameworks to balance child privacy with this parental practice. Researchers have conducted several psychological surveys, outlining social media accessibility, parental self-identification with children, and social pressure as potential causes for sharenting. Legal scholars have identified international human rights laws, labor protections, and recent online child privacy statutes as potential legal standards to check sharenting abuses.

Is sharenting sharing or oversharing?

The origins of the term "sharenting" have been attributed to the Wall Street Journal, where they called it "oversharenting," a portmanteau of "oversharing" and "parenting."

Sharenting can be jsut sharing but its worst aspects are in oversharing.

What’s different about sharing today?

Recording life moments of children growing up is not a new practice: people have been using diaries, scrapbooks and baby log books for centuries. Sharenting has become popular as a result of social media, which has made many people more comfortable with sharing their lives and those of their children online, resulting in the trend of oversharing on social media.

Studies haver shown that in the US, almost 75% of American parents were familiar with someone who over-shared information about their child on social media, and that 92% of all American two-year-olds had some presence on the internet. In Australia, a study showed that 90% of Australian parents admitted to over-sharing.

What’s wrong with sharenting?

It has been argued that sharenting:
· is a violation of child privacy, including data privacy;
· involves a lack of informed consent;
· may embarrass children;
· creates an initial digital footprint, a history of online activity, that the children themselves have no control over.;
· may result in negative consequences such as being ridiculed at school or leaving a negative impression for the future.

It has resulted in a backlash which includes anti-sharenting sites and apps that block baby pictures. One such site is the blog STFU Parents, founded in 2009 to criticise parental oversharing on social media.

In response some some parents maintain that sharenting creates a stronger sense of online community; others have suggested an appproach on sharenting which includes restrictions and conditions.

What the French are doing:

The French government has introduced laws banning parents from oversharing their children online, to protect children’s rights to their own images.

On average, there are 1300 photos of a child before the age of 13. In the UK, parents have posted, on average, nearly 1500 photos of their child by their fifth birthday.

The policy behind the proposed banning is the concerns around safety - where exactly do these photos go? Who can access them? If they exist on the cloud, they could be hacked.

The French policy is trying to address the fact that some children are becoming an extension of a parent’s identity. Some parents are even monetising that family identity, and profiting from images that their children had no choice in sharing with the world.

There’s no word on whether any other countries will adopt the same measures.

Under the proposed French law, courts will have the power to ban parents from posting photos of their youngsters online. Both parents would be jointly responsible for their children's image rights and any decision to post them online would involve the child based on 'his or her age and degree of maturity', with courts able to ban posting if either parent disagreed.

Parents could also lose authority over their children's image rights if posting them 'seriously affects the child's dignity or moral integrity'.

MP Bruno Studer, who proposed the bill earlier this month, said the law aimed to 'empower parents' and show young people their parents don't have an 'absolute right' over their image.

Mr Studer said in an interview with Le Monde:

'A 13-year-old child has an average of 1,300 images of themselves circulating on the internet. 'These are photos that can be misused for child pornography or that can lead to bullying in the school environment.'

It has been claimed that 50 per cent of photographs used in child pornography forums were originally posted by parents on social media.

Some comments from the public:

From 9 News twitter site,
Your Say: Should 'sharenting' be banned in Australia?

Yes. ban it

Ban parents who give kids stupid names because they want "something different".

Stop trying to control the masses...

Maybe it should, given the way children are being exploited by weird minority people.

I see friends’ kids growing up healthy and being happy on my timeline,why would I want to appease your saltiness

How about let’s just ban pictures of children period? Personally I share nothing. My wife shared a minimal amount. I have family/friends that are uploading multiple pictures daily to their social media and I can’t stand it.

No social media before age 18 at all

No, I don't think it should be banned BUT I do think parents need to be aware of privacy settings on their accounts and strictly limit who can see the photos.

And images posted of children must be fully clothed, so no topless beach photos etc.

Shouldn’t be banned


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