Images of Children Online

Oct 15, 2013 by

Abusive images of children

In recent years so much anxiety has been created amongst parent groups by an upsurge in the advice given about recording significant parts of childhood. The premise for this was that no child should have their picture taken or video made of them that wasn’t with their permission or their parents knowledge and also, it seemed as if parents were warned off taking pictures of their children which may seem improper in another context. Personally I think the whole thing’s gone too far and missed the point. It’s not wrong to take photos of your young child playing in the bath or on a summer’s day out in the sunshine running around the garden with a paddling pool or hosepipe. The point about these images is what you do with them, not that you’ve actually got them as part of your family history. So many people still post pictures of themselves and their children on their social media sites publicly. They should put in measures which make it only available to themselves. However, most people don’t understand that their friends can also publish these photos and their profiles may be publicly available, so you must be very clear as to who is going to publish any picture of your child and make sure they are kept private. Ultimately paedophiles looking for images to collect and corrupt still have incredible easy pickings.

It’s common practice for people interested in sexualising children to put adult heads on them and morph them into some obscene image. I still have trouble also accepting that parents are not encouraged to film a child’s nativity play as it is considered dangerous. As long as they keep it for their own private consumption and they have the schools permission for this I see no problem. I think it ranks up with the very unfortunate advice which was given out a while ago that stopped many fathers even hugging their children. The answer is: be private, be sensible, think of who might be viewing any images you post and don’t give opportunities to those that want to corrupt the pictures of your children.

When you consider Facebook or some of the other social media sites and the fact that there are 80 million fake accounts and lots of children under 13 who have accounts because the enforcement of the age limit is still poor, the danger to children and vulnerable others is significant. It’s a great opportunity for learning, education, sharing, communication and stimulating healthy relationships, but it’s also a trap for many unsuspecting, innocent and naive children and adults. So the world wide web has to be treated like any other invention, safety measures have to evolve with technological advancement. The volume of education has to be increased through schools and other learning institutions. Issues of ethics and morality have to be constantly debated, legislation has to keep up with developments and this is a very difficult thing to do. All in all we have a platform for all that’s good and bad in society. The best we can do is try and keep the dividing line clear.

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