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Privacy & effects of posting photos of children on Social Media


The story of a nine year old aboriginal Australian boy was filmed crying by his mother about being bullied has been on news for over a week. She got support from celebrities, Youtubers, and it has turned into a very "feel good" story.

I don't want to be overly cynical, though I do tend to assume parents who do things like this want attention, I'm happy to give the mother the benefit of the doubt, and say she had no selfish intentions. Even so, I think this behaviour is very misguided, and I dread to think of the thousands of bullied children who will likely now have their tears put online in imitation. I genuinely find it odd there has been little warning that this sort of action could backfire.

A nine year old boy can't consent to this sort of thing. I don't know if he agreed for his mother to share the video, but even if he did, he's too young to understand the lifelong impact this will have. I'm sure he's enjoying all the kind words and attention from various celebrities right now, but it's just a fifteen minutes of fame. I can only imagine the joy of the bullies in a few years time when they find this video- as they inevitably will.

This might make a wider rallying point against bullying, but the first duty of a parent is to protect their child, and I feel any parent who publicises their child's distress has failed to do that.

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