7/16

Mommy Brain, Keer Unplugged, My Own Thoughts, Gigowski Gibberish, and The Common Room have also weighed in.


7/15

Carla Wolfe, Chris, and Sal have all posted on this topic as well.


After reading blestwithsons’ post, and the post that inspired it, I’ve mulled over some of the conclusions, and I’m forced to say that I agree with some, disagree with others.

This post, due to it’s title, will now get some interesting traffic, I’m sure – which is fine. That’s why I titled it as such. Better me pulling search engine traffic for this than an actual pedo photoblog… so, neener.

When we post picture of our kids online, we should worry about pedophiles. To an extent. To another extent, I don’tthink the risks outweigh the benefits.

So, what rules should we set, when we post them?

1. No naked pictures – period. This should go without saying – but I’ve noticed a tendency to post pictures of babies in only diapers, kids in bathtubs, et al. Don’t do it. That’s common sense, folks.

Perhaps you’re even unwittingly serving up your most precious things in life as masturbation fodder for internet perverts. I realize that sounds rough and crass but for those of you who know the world and recognize the rules of the street, that is precisely the kind of scenario you risk when you place images of your children online. – (Urban Semiotic)

2. For heaven’s sake, don’t give out too much personal info. City, state, whatever – that may be fine, unless you live in a small town, where it’s *obviously* you. That’s also common sense. However, add in your name, their names, and pictures of your street sign, your house number… that’s not very smart. Don’t do it.

Parents are also sloppy about leaving clues on the internet. Blogs and websites are filled with easy ways to hunt down children via parental carelessness. Many blogs openly pony up first and last names of family members, jobs, city and state, hobbies and even the full names of the children! – (Urban Semiotic)

Ok? Those are two very simple rules, that if followed, should be very commonsensical. That’s where I agree. However – I also disagree with several things that are brought up.

In the source article that is referenced, the gist seems to be that any image can be photoshopped in, and turned into a “nasty” image. Well, folks, I’ll tell you. They don’t need the intarwebs to get pictures. They can get a digital camera, go to the park, and snap to their heart’s content. They can get 100 pictures at the mall, or of everyday life at Wal-Mart. They don’t need your pictures. They only need their fantasies. You can’t stop their fantasies.

They, most likely, won’t put the effort into photoshopping a picture of a kid climbing a tree into something nasty. If they want nasty, there are Asian sites, or eastern European sites, which deal in sex-trafficking – of children. They are slaves. That is where the child porn industry gets it’s “hard” material.

What they are warning you to do is to take *every single picture of your children off the internet*. That, in my humble opinion, is using a hammer to crush an ant. If they have to go to the effort of photoshopping a picture into something nasty – it’s not even real anymore. It’s not your child anymore, and it ceases to be your child as soon as they alter the image. They know it isn’t real. They want *real*. Crass? Yup. True? Yup.

I can understand the point about kids naked in the bathtub, ok? However, I really think it’s a bit much to say that every single picture, because there is a minuscule probability that it might be photoshopped into something else entirely, should be removed, in order that your “child” (ie: the child that is no longer your child, as they’ve had to alter it) does not get on the intarwebs that way. It’s overkill.

While I appreciate the effort to educate – I also think it induces a bit of hysteria, right along with it. YES, refrain from posting personal information about your children. YES, refrain from letting them appear, even partially nude, on your blog. NO, do not refrain from all pictures because some may be abused, and NO, do not assume that because abuse can happen, that the solution is to never post another picture of your child.

If you submit to that sort of thinking, I might humbly posit that you are succumbing to a spirit of fear. When we succumb to a spirit of fear, we may lose sight of our calling. We may hide ourselves under that bushel, and thus dim the light that could otherwise shine. We have nothing to hide- especially not our children. We should, indeed, protect them. We should, indeed, ensure that they are not taken advantage of. You and I should, indeed, “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” (Acts 20:28)

Look, I’m not telling you to just go on, happy-go-lucky, and ignore any dangers the internet may have to offer. I worked for a group called Cyberangels, a good while back. I know about online predators, ok? Posting pictures of kids playing is much different than allowing your 13-year-old daughter to chat on IRC, in the adult rooms. They are worlds apart. I understand about these “underbelly freaks” David is speaking of. They, however, are much more likely to frequent child beauty pageants, or kids in the bathtub (like I said… parents can be very, very unwise).

Don’t freak out and go overboard. Don’t be unwise, either. Be as wise as a serpent, and as gentle as a dove. Seriously – don’t go to either extreme. Wisely consider the risks, weigh the benefits, and go from there.

Risks – possible online predators
Benefits – showing the world a happy family

We SHOULD safeguard our children. We should, however, not remove ourselves FROM the world, but be an example TO the world. Show your children to the world- responsibly, but without fear. Show them happy, show them healthy, show them with the knowledge that their joy comes from the Father of Lights, especially when raised by parents who are Children of God.