Here is where my daughter stood for a photo in her World Book Day costume this morning.
I got some lovely photos, but I do not have her permission to share it on my personal social media (never mind my blog page).
My daughter is 8 years old and there are quite a few photos of her in the public domain (due to my blog and media appearances), but now she’s of an age where she is understanding who can see what and how social media works, I am not allowed to post anything without her permission.
I have to explain to her who will see certain things; if it’s my personal Facebook it will just be the people I have accepted as friends (and I’m a bit fussy) and if it’s my blog or Facebook page, potentially anybody.
I can’t control what I’ve already posted publicly and hopefully she will grow up proud of the images she sees of herself in my blogs and in news articles; everything I’ve ever written and done has been for the good of others.
From now on, it’s her choice.
Every photo that’s posted creates a digital footprint that will follow her into adult life. She has the right to decide what that footprint looks like.
I hope that by doing this she realises that she has the right to consent to how her information and images are shared and when she’s old enough that she too should have consent before posting about anyone else.
Just last week a photo was taken of her at school. I’ve given the school permission to post photos of her on the school twitter account. But, once the photo was taken she asked for it not to be posted on twitter, her choice was valued, I was so bloody proud of her.
I’m not sure (at 8) she fully comprehends what the internet is all about, but by having these conversations we give our children the autonomy they deserve, and ensure social media safety from a young age.
By writing this post I am absolutely not judging any parent for posting photos, or not asking their child permission, every family is different and you have the right to post what you want.
But, it’s definitely a topic worth talking about.
Do you ask your child’s permission? Let us know your opinions in the comments.