I was just reading this article about putting photos of your children online. I have so many photos of my little girl online but I am taking them off or making them only visible to me and a couple of other people now that I have read this article and thought about it. I watched an Oprah show about child pornography and I have actually had trouble sleeping since then. They really went into graphic detail about some of the things that children endure in this particular type of abuse and you can't not think about it once you have heard these things spoken. I really wish there was more I could do to help stop it and stop people who torture and abuse children in this sick, disgusting, evil way.
Anyway, here is the article. I won't be posting anymore photos of my daughter online. It may seem extreme to some but, to me, posting photos is not worth wondering if some sick, degenerate person is using them for their own ends.
"Internet's no place for toddlersAn innocent picture sparks a scary call from CFS
My sister called sounding stressed. Child and family services had called and left a message. It had something to do with her three-year-old. This was strange. She'd never had any contact with them before.
She played the message for me. It wasn't clear what they wanted but it sounded like they were doing some kind of investigation. What would CFS want with us?
We wracked our brains. Maybe someone called in a complaint? But my sister takes good care of her daughter and has never abused her.
Maybe the dentist reported the fresh bruise on her daughter's leg -- she tripped on a bed frame the day before -- when we took her for dental surgery.
My sister returned the CFS worker's call. She was told to get to her office right away.
The social worker introduced herself and ushered us into a comfortable room fitted with blue plastic couches and big boxes of toys.
"Do you know why you're here?" she asked my sister.
My sister started explaining the bruise but the social worker stopped her.
"Do you have a Facebook account?" she asked.
Well, it turned out to be a good CFS experience after all.
Turns out my sister put photos of her daughter on Facebook; just like so many of us do. She did get an email from Facebook asking her to take them down, but thought nothing of it.
They showed her daughter in a bathtub -- nothing showing, but still enough to set off alarm bells with Facebook and with the Winnipeg Police Service's Internet child exploitation unit.
Child pornography is a multibillion dollar industry and its getting more technologically sophisticated. And it's not just in the U.S., it's here in Manitoba, too.
Manitoba has a new law making it mandatory to report child pornography if you come across it. If you fail to report child porn -- online, in photos, books or other audio and visual material -- you can face up two years in jail or $50,000 in fines.
Child pornography is child abuse.
Basically, my sister was investigated by police but they quickly realized she was just a mom with pictures of her kid on Facebook. They referred her "case" to CFS who then called us.
The social worker said my sister's file would be closed now, but it was important to have her come down and talk to her about the dangers of putting her pics of her daughter online. She told us this happens to thousands of families and the best weapon against it is education.
It's very easy for child-pornographers to check out anyone's Facebook and download your kid's photos. Even though my sister's Facebook was supposed to be "private" the investigators accessed it. The same goes for other "social-networking" sites like Bebo, Tagged and Hi5.
What they do after is photoshop your child's face on the body of child who's being assaulted, then sell it.
So, take your kid's photos off the Internet just to be safe. As fast as you put up your photos, millions of people have access to them.
And it doesn't matter what age they are, there are some very sick people out there. Save your kid's pics for photo albums. It's an awful feeling to know they might fall into the wrong hands.
For internet safety strategies and other information on increasing the personal safety of children and reducing their risk of sexual exploitation, visit the Canadian Centre for Child Protection at www.protectchildren.ca.
Child pornography is child abuse. Child pornography doesn't report itself. Visit www.cybertip.ca to report the online sexual exploitation of children
Sadly, our laws allow for people to post pictujres of children and write sick sexual fantasies about them ala the pervert who wrote his sexual fantasies about the first daughters Sasha and Malia Obama. I don't think that qualifies as free speech but many people on teh campaign trail were quick to bash his "censorship" when he showed disgust and anger at this pervert's audacity to publicly turn innocent fully covered photos of innocent children into the object of his sick yet not criminal desires. Because the claim was, so long as he didn't act on it, his desire was not criminal.
I think they make a good point for people who are naive but what about the people who take random pictures of children? There will never be a time where we can stop it, so we stop posting pictures and the abuser become desperate, therefore they result to more dangerous approaches.
Posting a kid in a bathtub and having cfs called on her is pretty retarded, guess when me and my friends took a bath together it was child abuse. If people stopped going insane and making so much propaganda with it, it may not be as bad but I won't deny it happens.
I have never posted pictures of my children undressed online. Common sense will tell you not to do that. Even their first pictures, naked and fresh outta the oven, there were smiley-face "stamps" photoshopped onto their parts, as a safeguard. But those were not sent online, they were mailed to my family. Still, I protected my childrens' privacy (and privates) because you never know who looks at the mail or if it arrived at the right place until it gets there. I am proud to post pictures of my children online. If someone copy/pastes my child's head onto another child's naked body, I am safe in knowing I have proof that said naked body is not EITHER of my children, as they have surgical scars and other identifying marks on their bodies, in various places. It is scary to think someone would do something like that, but I am safe in knowing that it is NOT my child that is naked. It is sad to know that it IS someone's child, though. That is why I always advise friends/family to post pics of their kids fully clothed, no matter how cute they are in the tub, or asleep on the toilet...keep your kids safe. It is up to the parent to safeguard their child as best as possible. And please, if you are going to post pictures of your newborn or child naked, censor out their privates. I know that it can actually be a case of child pornography, even if it is on a facebook or myspace page, because that is, in a way, considered distribution. Unless your photo album is private and only viewable by you or you and your friends. I also know they are cracking down on teens for taking nude pictures of themselves and posting them on myspace/facebook. I was reading about a 14 year old girl who may be facing a label of sex offender for doing just that. Posting naked pictures of herself on myspace, for her boyfriend. I don't think she should be labeled a sex offender for the rest of her life, that is an extreme, but she should know better and protect herself, because there are people out there who get off on that kind of stuff. I don't think any woman should get CFS or CPS called on them because some perv photoshopped their child's head onto another child's naked body, that is another extreme. That is one of the reasons I make a list of all identifying scars, marks, etc on my children. The other reason is, forbid it ever happen, for identification in case of abduction or some other horrific crime committed against either of my children. Sadly, there is nothing you can do if your child doesn't have scars, birthmarks, etc on their bellies or privates or whatnot, but I am pretty sure there are experts out there that can tell if it is a photoshop or not. I also believe that ANY photo you post online, you should have a backup of on your computer AND if you can, on paper. That way, you can show the EXACT photo, unaltered. And always watermark your own online photos. Regardless of if they are of you, your child, your pet, etc.
How would i go about watermarking my photos of my son? I have tons of pictures of him online, none of them are naked pictures, the closest to nude he is in any picture is this one of him without a onesie on, but he's wrapped in his favorite blanket.
Either way I wouldn't want anyone copying, pasting and altering the photo. If watermarking it would help decrease the chances of that happening I'd like to know how please.
I use photoshop 7 to add a text watermark to all my photos. You just open the image, select the type tool and type the copyright symbol or any other text you want to use for a watermark. While you are still in the type tool dialog, you click the color swatch and set the color to 50% gray (Use HSB values 0-0-50 or RGB valuses 128-128-128, both will produce the same results). Then click OK to exit the type tool, resize/position text as desired. For Photoshop 5.5 users, you right click (for mac users, use control click) on the type layer in the layer palette and choose effects. For photoshop 6 and 7 users, you double click on a blank area of the type layer in the layer palette (not the thumbnail or the layer name) to bring up the layer styles dialog. Apply the Bevel and Emboss effect and adjust hte setting until it is to your liking. In the layers palette, change the blend mode for the type layer to Hard Light.
I am unsure of any other photo imaging programs and how to use them, but most have options that can watermark photos.
I found out that you can also copyright photos using the simple text option in most photo editing programs that come on your pc (just typing any text in the text box and placing it where you want it on your photo). The bad part about both watermarking and copyrighting photos is that people can simply download your images right onto their pc, via right click and "Save Picture As". From their pc, they can crop or cut out the copyright/watermark. I do know that myspace has an option that disallows photos from being shared or emailed. Whether or not this disallows the "Save picture As", I don't know. I do know the best place to watermark your photos is near the focus of the photo, such as above your child's head or diagonally across his belly toward one of his shoulders or his neck. But Myspace also has the "Make my Album Private" and also allows you to choose who you allow to see your photos, on levels. Meaning that you cannot choose which people on your friends list can view your photos. You can either allow all or not allow any. As far as e-mails go, watermarking or adding text copyrights is the best way to protect your son's photos. Just be sure that it is near his face or head so that anyone attempting to alter or crop his image would have to destroy part of his face by doing so.
I just heard a story about a mother who found an ad on Craigslist where her child was for sale in an adoption scam. Apparently, someone took a picture from her family blog and used it in a fake ad for adption. Thought those who responded to the original post might be interested.
You could do a search using these keywords "Mother Finds Own Child For Sale Online" or here is a link to one news site: http://www.ketv.com/news/20263403/detail.h
* Edited to add: the link includes a video of the news story
Again, that is why it is so important to make family albums PRIVATE on your myspace page. Facebook has yet to offer a private album, however, you can restrict your page to those you know and only those you know. Watermarking cannot save everyone, it is only a step in insuring your privacy.