The Honking Goose

something to honk about

it’s getting hot in here, so take off all your photos

hair question mark

Is that me? Yes. I’ve used this as a profile pic on FB.

This morning I shared the obvious, that the internet is public. For this reason, several years ago I removed all photos of myself and my family from Facebook.

Ideally, the privacy/sharing settings allow me to control who has access to my photos. But the fact remains that Facebook is on the internet and the internet is public. I have access to perhaps tens of thousands of other people’s personal photos via my Facebook account. I could copy them, alter them, reuse them if I chose to do so. I don’t. But I could. It is so easy. I’m not comfortable with so many people, some I know well and some I hardly know at all, having that kind of access to my pictures. So I took them all down. So did my husband.

Unfortunately, we don’t have control over other family members and friends publishing photos on Facebook (or elsewhere) of ourselves or our kids. We have decided it’s not worth the fuss to ask people not to, but we do remove ‘tags’ from photos on Facebook.

profile pic with pink curtain

This is also me. Another profile pic.

Facebook is not my space (pun intended). And since the advent of ‘timeline’ no one even looks at my wall. WordPress is a little different in that all the content on my blog is my own. Still, when I post family pictures on WordPress, I put a large watermark over the images that I want to protect. I’ve read that those watermarks are easy to remove, but I don’t know how to do it. I’m guessing (from personal experience) that if someone wants to borrow an image off the internet, they’ll skip the ones with watermarks and choose another photo most of the time. Other people choose to put a smaller signature on their photos and a copyright notice posted on their website in order to protect their images. That’s fine, but the internet is a big place. Are they really going to know if someone rips off their photos? And if they did find out would they go so far as to take legal action?

lake outlet with Honking Goose watermark

An example of using a watermark across an image.

One of the reasons why I’m so cautious is because I want my kids to have the option of building their own identity on the web. It is for the same reason that I use aliases on my personal-family blog. I don’t want to establish their online identity for them before they are even old enough to decide if they want one at all. I don’t want their future friends and employers to be able to search their name and come up with dozens of baby photos and personal information describing every lost tooth and each camping trip we took. I hope that I can teach them by example to use restraint when posting information and photos on social media.

hugging burning man couple

I took this off of someone’s FB gallery. I don’t know these people. Would you believe me if I said I did?

What guidelines do you use for posting on social media? How do you protect your content? Am I right that WordPress is more protected than Facebook, or am I just kidding myself? Now that I’m in my 30’s will my Facebook feed be forever inundated with photos of my friend’s babies? or will it taper off at some point in the future? or will it taper off and then be inundated with photos of my friends grand-babies?

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67 comments on “it’s getting hot in here, so take off all your photos

  1. Pingback: here is how to not steal images | The Honking Goose

  2. AnnaLevensonPsy
    October 25, 2016

    I think a lot of ppl used to feel that way but now it’s become a major life and business connector …..just for the love of the goddess , no penis pictures ever, anywhere…..when did this become socially acceptable lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 25, 2016

      The times they are a changin’. I may be outdated, its true. But at the same time, people (and not just celebrities) do occasionally have serious problems with content thieves on the web and there are simple steps we can take to better protect ourselves.

      Liked by 1 person

      • AnnaLevensonPsy
        October 25, 2016

        True but I still would say unless it’s confidential documents or you are a celebrity that might be hacked I think you’re okay lol

        Like

  3. The real me
    November 6, 2014

    Very wise choice. I had lots of pictures stolen from both my own and a friends Facebook account by an ex friend who then posted them (including my wedding pictures) to use to insult me for the simple reason that my husband rejected her. Nearly two years it has taken me just to get them taken from the WordPress accounts she set up. Then there was numerous fake Facebook accounts and tumblr. It really isn’t worth the hassle

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 25, 2016

      Most people don’t have problems like that, so there isn’t a lot of awareness. I think we need to be really proactive, though, especially when it comes to teaching the youth about the sharing and interacting online.

      Like

  4. Fannie Frankfurter
    October 28, 2014

    I’m afraid that you might be looking at a Facebook future full of baby photos. I’m 38 and someone on my feed who’s only a year older than I am is already posting grandchildren. Oy vey.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 28, 2014

      Yeah, I guess that’s how it’s gonna be. I don’t hate baby photos or anything, it makes me a little jealous, that’s all. I remember when my kids were that small. It just seems so long ago…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: more about why I took off all my… photos | The Honking Goose

  6. Elisa Preston
    October 18, 2014

    “Now that I’m in my 30’s will my Facebook feed be forever inundated with photos of my friend’s babies?” – I just asked myself that. I go through phases of deleting my images off of Facebook, and your post reminded me I haven’t done it in awhile. The balance of an online identity is such an interesting one to find/weave… Time will tell so much. Will this all really matter? Will it fade into oblivion like the data we had on those tamagotchies of the 90s? Will we be caught in something we didn’t want to be caught in, because of some photo somewhere online from sometime in our past, even if it’s not the least bit scandalous? I guess time will tell…

    Like

  7. The Daily Blabber
    October 16, 2014

    Because of my husbands job I don’t tend to post photos of my (immediate) family on WordPress that aren’t in profile or shadow. I do post on Facebook for people that are on a list. The list is family only and they aren’t allowed to tag my photos. However I guess I couldn’t stop them from stealing my photos outright. My dad kept reposting my photos on his Facebook page so I took him off of the list and he no longer has access. Everyone else respects my rules lol

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 16, 2014

      It sounds like you are making well thought out and careful decisions about how to share your photos. πŸ˜€

      Like

  8. Elizabeth Melton Parsons
    October 14, 2014

    As a matter of fact, yes, I have found my photos being used and taken legal action and so have many others I know. If anyone stealing photos thinks no one will take action, they are in for a rude awakening some day.Facebook has turned to crap. I can’t even get updates from personal friends or family anymore without directly visiting their pages. Mostly I get ads. I haven’t removed my photos from there, but I did adjust my settings. Good post.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 14, 2014

      Facebook has turned to crap, though it was never spectacular in the first place. I can’t believe people put so much time into sharing on that platform even though it is so inefficient and such a sinkhole for data.

      If you feel like sharing I would be curious to know: How were your photos being used? And did it cost you money to take legal action to protect your data?

      Like

      • Elizabeth Melton Parsons
        October 14, 2014

        I’d be happy to share. Over the years at different times my nature photos have been used in collections offered to others as wallpapers for their computers. Some of these sites were offering them for free, but others were charging a fee. I simply contacted the free sites and ask them to remove my work because they were in violation of copyright laws. They have always been nice enough to remove them. The ones charging a fee removed them too. All except one. They refused and seemed to think I had no rights because they were online photos. They changed their minds after hearing from an attorney. I could have been financially compensated like a couple of my friends were, but that’s not what I wanted. I simply wanted them to stop. Yes, my attorney charged a fee and it was worth every dime. Since I wasn’t suing for money. It was just a small free.

        Like

        • thehonkinggoose
          October 14, 2014

          Interesting. Did you just find out by chance that this was happening? Thanks for taking the time to reply.

          Like

          • Elizabeth Melton Parsons
            October 14, 2014

            No, every once in a while I’ll do an internet search using words I’ve used as tags to describe my pictures including my name and I’ve found some that way, but also other people have told me about some. I’ve also used lines from my poems and have found poems that were taken and used in various ways. But at least in those cases, they gave me a credit at the bottom, so even though they didn’t ask permission, I let it pass and considered it free publicity. If you’re ever concerned about your own stuff, do some searching. It works for me. πŸ™‚

            Like

            • thehonkinggoose
              October 14, 2014

              Okay, thanks for all that information, I really appreciate it.

              Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 14, 2014

      By the way, the photo above which I took off Facebook, the couple had allowed their picture to be taken by a stranger at a public event, so I felt I wasn’t infringing on their privacy by using it here.

      Like

  9. AlluringEby
    October 13, 2014

    An eye opener, never looked at it this way. Thanks a lot, esp for all the info on how to maintain rights and privacy to some extent

    Like

  10. Your Moderate Mama
    October 11, 2014

    The last picture made me laugh!

    I didn’t know one could take pictures from FB pages until my husband and I joined our church and they had pictures that I had not given them… because I forgot…

    my pastor told me they just took them from FB… creepy!!

    I wish they’d make it where people could not do this.

    What if someone has a picture of Moderate Daddy framed on their bed side table and they tell others he’s their boyfriend πŸ˜‰

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 11, 2014

      That is creepy!

      My husband says I should blur out the people’s faces in the picture I took off FB. But I was careful to choose a picture one of my ‘friends’ had taken of strangers at a public event (Burning Man). It’s not someone’s family photo.

      Maybe I should note that in the caption.

      Like

  11. annj49
    October 11, 2014

    May I ask about your page format?
    I like it.
    Not sure I am happy with mine right now.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 11, 2014

      I use the Suburbia theme, it’s a free one. I like it because of the little blurbs on the home page. You get to see a lot at once and choose what catches your eye. Like a candy store! πŸ˜‰

      Like

      • annj49
        October 11, 2014

        That’s exactly what I liked about it πŸ™‚

        Like

  12. Sonu Duggal
    October 11, 2014

    Hi, thanks for stopping by and following my blog.

    Like

  13. Terri
    October 11, 2014

    I first read your post last night but wasn’t quite sure what I thought of what you were saying. Granted my kids are older and use social media to promote their theatre and music endeavors. If I had younger children, perhaps I would feel differently.

    I monitor my social media privacy settings often and have no problem sharing family photos with family and close friends on social media. However, I am also diligent and make sure (because I do know things on-line never really come off) I don’t post anything that would devastate me or any of my family members if published in a newspaper. I kind of wondered why in the world anyone would ever even want to steal a family photo (pedophiles not withstanding.)

    But then this morning, drinking my coffee and perusing the newspaper, I saw this.

    http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/278870731.html?page=1

    It was horrifying to me that this could happen and all the possibilities of people stealing all those cute photos of my kids to sell things that we may not even like just filled my brain. Yup. I came back, scrolled through a gazillion posts in my reader to re-find you and ‘like’ what you were saying. (Even if I don’t really like it if you know what I mean.) Thanks for being thought provoking! πŸ™‚

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 11, 2014

      Thank you so much for coming back and sharing this article. I have to admit that nothing much surprises me these days, but I’m a little shocked. I knew it was possible and probable, I had just never read about such an egregious violation like this before.

      That is exactly the reason I have been putting watermarks across all the photos of my kids that I share online, because I don’t want someone using their sweet little faces to sell a product or a campaign. I figured it might be far-fetched that someone would choose my photos out of so many on the internet, but better safe than sorry.

      Thanks again! πŸ˜€

      Like

      • Terri
        October 11, 2014

        Exactly! I bet that guy never figured his photo would be chosen either. >sheesh<

        Like

    • Yoshiko
      October 11, 2014

      This is really irritating. The one who want to use the photo need to ask permission.

      Like

      • thehonkinggoose
        October 11, 2014

        We can’t always trust people to act with our own best interest at heart. We need to take steps of caution to protect ourselves and our data as well.

        Like

        • Yoshiko
          October 11, 2014

          Of course. Some people will seek permission. 😊 But some just steal. Irritating 😑

          Like

  14. annj49
    October 11, 2014

    I like that first awesome hair pic.
    I don’t know those people on the beach.
    I use pics I find on the Internet to illustrate what I write if I don’t have something of my own already. I’m not sure of all the rules around usage. I wish they would label some pics “public domain, as they do for songs.
    My children and my grandchild are posted on Facebook to my friends. My writing is often public.
    Love your title!
    Whew!
    It’s HOT!
    Think I’ll go take off ALL my photos! πŸ˜‰

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 11, 2014

      Do you know that song my title is referring to? I wasn’t sure if it would come across in reading the way it sounds in my head. πŸ™‚

      Guess what? There is a a label for “reuse”. Images can be “labeled for reuse” or “labeled for noncommercial use with modification” etc. Go to search.creativecommons.org and select a setting and search for images you can use for free. I just learned this from my husband a couple of days ago! That is where I got the image on my article “the internet is public”.

      Like

      • annj49
        October 11, 2014

        I did not know the song when I wrote that, but I do now πŸ˜‰ That’s rather hot and steamy! I’d rather take off all my PHOTOS! Haha!
        Thanks for the info on pics. I will look into that πŸ™‚

        Like

  15. prior
    October 10, 2014

    I like your writing – and some people really do not think about what they put out there –

    regarding people stealing your creative work –

    well with photos I do not really mind if folks use mine – but that is just me – and I used to take the time to put in a watermark – but I find it distracting and not needed – but I can see why professionals might want to – but I follow professional photographers and not all of them do this- I think they have other ways of protecting their work – and I am glad.

    regarding the Privacy of baby pictures and that data – you are so spot on that we need to guide that – I was just listening to a show on NPR (I think) and they noted a school that teaches kids about their digital footprint and how things can;t get deleted. also shared about a guy- now in his 20’s – but guess he was a kid when his lights bare solo battle went viral – and he said he was teased much from it..

    regarding – What fb and others do with your information and identity- well this is also a threat – and there are hackers everywhere who use ‘web crawlers’ for this and that – not to mention stalkers – yikes!

    in closing, I like your hair too – and are those dreads? nice….

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 11, 2014

      I love that people are finding ways to connect and share what is important to them and beautiful things they have created. I just would hope that they would be fully aware of the possibilities and consequences.

      We took typing classes when I was in high school (almost 20 yrs ago, wow) but that is by no means enough today. Now technology classes need to encompass a wider range of skills, like you mention, regarding privacy and data sharing.

      Yeah, I did have dreads, I don’t now. πŸ˜€

      Like

      • prior
        October 13, 2014

        thanks for the reply – and I had to taking typing in high school too…. πŸ™‚

        Like

  16. Yoshiko
    October 10, 2014

    I am not sure in this.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 11, 2014

      I suggest you read Terri’s comment above and the article she linked. I was even shocked!

      Like

      • Yoshiko
        October 11, 2014

        Yea, it is shocking. Most of the time, I use wordpress and emails πŸ˜€

        Like

  17. Beth
    October 10, 2014

    Does it bother you that the option to say exactly where you are is there too and most have used that at least once. So you have pretty little girls (or handsome boys) in your photos and voila! The local sex offender knows exactly where to go for his prey!

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 11, 2014

      Yes, I am really shocked how little inhibition people have about using a feature like that. I am one to question everything – how does that serve me? what are the long term consequences? how might others take advantage of that? I wish more people would have a questioning mindset.

      Like

  18. Norbert Haupt
    October 10, 2014

    Interesting that you really outlined four different issues or concerns here:

    1. People stealing your creative work – like using the photographs you post
    2. Owning your own data
    3. Privacy, baby pictures, tagging of pictures
    4. What Facebook and Twitter (and others) do with your information and identity

    Each one of those deserves its own discussion, doesn’t it? You just gave me ideas for four more posts :).

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 11, 2014

      Yes, I think you are right, there is a lot here that could (and should) be discussed in more detail. I look forward to reading your take on these topics.

      Like

  19. Robert S. Eilers
    October 10, 2014

    I have a photographer friend who has had two of her photos used without asking permission first. One did give her credit but the other did not. The photos were off her Facebook. I’ve been telling her she needs to start putting watermarks on those awesome photos.

    I’m personally tired of Facebook. The new criteria they are using for the timeline means I’m not seeing everything people post and my friends aren’t seeing everything I post. I’m having a much better time on WordPress. Twitter too.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 10, 2014

      I can’t quite get into Twitter. Facebook bores me to tears these days. WordPress is a lot more fun.

      I recently downloaded a free program called Gimp for image editing. It was hard to adjust to that coming from using Photoshop, but now I can do some basic things with it like watermarks, cropping, and resizing.

      πŸ˜€

      Like

      • Robert S. Eilers
        October 10, 2014

        I’ve never been able to afford Photoshop so GIMP has always been my photo editing tool. Mainly basic things like color/brightness fixes and adjusting sizes. Never got into the real detailed part of it though I know you can do a lot with it. Been using it for probably ten years. Very good tool though you are right, there is a learning curve if you are coming over from PS.

        Like

  20. earth2bellas
    October 10, 2014

    …what is that behind those sexy beach ppl? An angel?! 😳

    Trippy…anyway I totally agree. Although, if a future employer were to Google our future babies, they prob would not be surprised to find their mamas FB and WP feeds bc their own mamas will have done the same thing to them lol. Like when our grandparents would tell us not to get tattoos bc “What will you look like when you’re old?! Silly!” Nope. Bc every other geezer in the nursing home will have tattoos too by the time we get there. It’s the norm.

    That being said, I don’t post my babies on the net either. And your pics are pretty (: And I’ve had tons of artwork stolen from me over the years. It’s bullshit.

    Good post!

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 10, 2014

      Those people are at Burning Man, and it wasn’t their FB I got the pic from, it was someone else’s. I forgot to mention that above.

      I see your point and I like the tattoo comparison. πŸ™‚

      Like

  21. justanothergirl
    October 10, 2014

    Good idea … erase it all!

    Like

  22. Tdog the Fist
    October 10, 2014

    Some people like me really don’t care all that much about this sort of thing mostly because I am not all that good looking to start with! πŸ˜‰ But all jokes aside I agree with you that for people who really put a lot of personal content up on the web, or just don’t want to make a big deal out of it; you have to protect yourself. The best way is to take down pictures. I myself don’t have anything I am obligated to protect, so I can have my picture up. Be that as it may I am still glad that someone is taking the initiative to spread logical thought to as many people as they can. If only there were more like you…

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 10, 2014

      I think you have the right attitude about it. I laugh when I see people posting those fake copyright notices on their FB wall. If they want to protect their images, all they have to do is not put them on the internet. So simple!

      Liked by 1 person

    • AnnaLevensonPsy
      October 25, 2016

      Well, as I said, I don’t have a problem with pictures, but the protection is something important enough to worry about . It’s why I never keep patient files online

      Liked by 1 person

  23. MrJohnson
    October 10, 2014

    I like your hair

    Like

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