Prison for sharing pics of kids on social media?! One mum has a LOT to say…

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  • Have you heard the recent news? No? Well, parents who upload pictures of their children onto the internet could be sued by their sons and daughters under new privacy laws…

    Yep, mothers and fathers risk facing a year in prison and a whopping fine of £35,000 if they are convicted of publicising details of their children’s private lives without their permission.

    OK, so it is in France, but it’s a little too close to home for mum-of-one and blogger Anna Whitehouse, founder of MotherPukka, who thinks everyone just needs to calm down…

    Am I bothered that people think I shouldn’t post photos of my kid on the internet? No, I’m not.

    I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked ‘are you OK sharing photos of your kid? Don’t you get worried?’, my answer is always no.

    I don’t have sleepless nights, in fact I don’t even bat an eyelid. I don’t fear the Internet is going to bungle my – or my child’s – mind. I don’t worry that we’ll be instantly swept into a terrifying paedophile circle the minute I press ‘upload’.

    It might seem reckless to many but it’s like the time I ignored the old ‘breast is best’ adage, when people told me bottle is all kinds of rubbish. I do what I want and don’t listen to all the excess, and unwanted, opinion – the white noise – that surrounds parenthood.

    Sharing photos of my child on Instagram or Facebook is the modern-day equivalent to my mum’s old photo album. Think about it, it’s no different to the 80s, moth-eaten albums crammed with faded photos of you naked in a bath with the next-door neighbour’s son (who, incidentally, grew up to be a David Ghandi lookalike).

    If you do want the modern-day equivalent to hiding the album in the back of the under stairs cupboard under a pile of old towels, then turn your settings to private; job done.

    That said, I draw the line at nudity – any nakedness on the World Wide Web is just a bit unfair, for your kid in the future (and for any of their potential employers Googling them).

    And don’t get me started on posting images of your house/street/address – an easy win for burglars and lurkers alike. But that’s all common sense, no?

    Equally if your kid is old enough to beg you to leave them off Instagram, then, of course, you’d be the digital Cruella Deville to continue with your X-Pro II filtering process.

    Sure, there’s no ‘creative approval’ coming from a three-month-old dribbler, but neither was there in the 80s when I was papped cavorting about naked in our paddling pool with a blow-up Michelin Man. It’s just a captured memory that had me laughing-until-I-cried then and smiling about now.

    When it comes down to it, the common denominator for all of us parents is love. There has to be a trust in parents to love their children enough to not deliberately put them in danger.

    It’s a case of ‘each to their own’, and what works for one won’t for another. Why weigh down heavily with psychological blather; why add guilt to yet another knackered mother’s load?

    If there’s a ray of sunshine to be found in sharing a photo of your spawn, who’s to stop you? Boob feed? Bottle feed? Instagram feed? Who cares; it’s your life, your kid and your memories. Post as you wish, I know will.