something to honk about
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.
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?
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.
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?