There was a bit of a discussion in the Cartside home about my posting of my niece's photo. And I thought it was a useful one, maybe one that every blogger should have.
As you may have noticed, I don't tend to post images that show Cubling's face and I also don't use her real name. Working for a children's charity which has child protection as one of its guiding principles, I'm well acquainted with how to protect identities using the internet for the protection of children. It's simple really:
a) you need parental consent to post a picture of a child. At work, that means written consent. I also always ask the child if they are happy for photos to be used (they are generally old enough to say)
b) If you post a picture of a child, you only identify her/him with first name and city, no other details, or to be super safe, use a fake first name.
So when it comes to Cubling and this blog, I'm more than following the guidelines. Parental consent can be implied, both hubby and I prefer not to show her face. I never use Cubling's real name. However, on Facebook, I post full face pictures and use her first name, making pictures visible to my friends only.
When I posted the photo of my niece, I did not seek parental consent before posting the photo on this blog. This is clearly wrong, so I've taken the photo down and try my best in future not to get carried away. Why did I do it in spite of knowing better? An urge to share with my readers the majority of whom I know, and because after all, she's a 2 day old baby on the photo which doesn't really mean she could be identified. The face is out of focus. The face is not fully shown, I consciously didn't pick the "best" photo. These are excuses of course. I should have sought parental consent first, and I didn't. I have no right to post her photo.
There is a more general issue here though: while it's up to each parent blogger to decide to post photos of their own child(ren) or not. However, there are plenty of photos out there in the blogosphere where children other than the blogger's own are shown. Somehow I doubt that the parents of the other children have given consent.
It's a tricky area, and of course nobody expects a blogger to be an expert on child protection. It's worth considering though so this is why I put this out for discussion. What are your views on posting photos of your child? And do you think it's ok to post a photo where other children are visible? Do you use real names or not?