fingers crossed photo

Many of us bloggers dream of getting discovered and having our traffic numbers soar. We wish for that one big break.

For those who don’t know, Tracy of I Hate My Message Board recently had got her wish come true when her “Whole Chicken In A Can post went viral. Tracy didn’t expect it, nor was she prepared for what would happen next.

Although her numbers went through the roof, Tracy soon found out, having a post go viral has its drawbacks and its lessons.

In her post titled, How Life Coaching Helped My Blog” she shares,

What bothered me more was a few comments about my son’s dirty face in one of the pictures and somebody saying he had an unfortunate haircut. I think all of you parents can understand how much I wanted to set the record straight on that, but ultimately decided doing so would be counterproductive. I did decide that this was a lesson learned and from now on I won’t include photos of the kids in my blog posts.

Today’s Lesson

Realizing this experience is so fresh on Tracy’s mind,  I’ve asked her to join me and answer a few more questions – not just about the lessons learned, but what she witnesses in forums.

1) Prior to having a post go viral, did you ever have reason to believe posting photos of your children was a problem?

Yes and no, meaning I was aware of the risks of possible things that could happen, but I also realized the chance of actual physical harm coming to my children was remote. My biggest concern and reason I had not posted more photos of my children is that once something is online it’s usually there forever and you very quickly lose control over how it is used. I also took into consideration my husband’s and other family member’s comfort level in what I reveal about our family, including photos.

One thing that surprised me is how quickly extended family members were forwarded that post by people unaware that the boy in the pictures was a relation. If I’d been trying to keep my blog a secret, it would have been impossible after that!

2) Knowing there are predators online, when you did post photos of your children, did you take any precautions as to which photos you would include?

Yes, I don’t post any nude photos or pictures/video that could be described as boys dancing in their underwear, no matter how adorable it is. One thing I’ve learned is that predators do image searches to find photos of real children. Unfortunately, as administrator of an online forum, I’ve seen firsthand photos from my site being linked to by another very unsavory forum, where I also found hundreds of photos of young boys taken from public flickr and photobucket sites. I’ve also seen people steal photos of other people’s kids and use it to form a false online identity. In one case, a poster faked her identity for nearly 7 years using photos of the same young girl and later a young boy. Although no physical harm is being done, it’s still very unsettling and you worry about the emotional repercussions later for the child if they ever have reason to find out.

3) After having a post go viral and seeing how readers were critiquing not your post, but the photo of your child, what advice can you share with other parents who share pictures of their children on their blogs?

Remember that people who’d think that sort of criticism is necessary are safely ignored, they are just looking to get a rise out of somebody or look like some sort of big shot. You know the truth about your child and the level of care you provide and there is absolutely no reason to feel defensive. That said, in the future I will not include photos of my children in my blog because the nature of some of my posts make it likely that they will either go viral and/or be popular on the sorts of sites where people like to one up each other with how nasty their comments can be.

As a forum administrator, I’d advise people that the more photos and stories about their children and personal lives they share, the less identifying information they give. Not just because of the admittedly tiny chance of a predator coming to their home, but because people online can be mean. I’ve heard of employers being called, CPS [Child Protective Services] given false reports, family members being contacted, all sorts of crazy things. My personal feeling is that we also need to be concerned about our children’s right to privacy and what information about them winds up on Google.

Tracy, thank you for sharing what you continue to see, not only on blogs, but in forums. For the safety of our children and our loved ones, you’ve opened our eyes to what not only can happen, but what DOES happen.

Today’s Assignment

Having read about Tracy’s experience, will this affect what photos you post online?

Do you take any precautions when posting photos of your children?

When a post goes viral, we can attract all types of visitors. Knowing that, do you feel you and your blog will be able to stand up to the scrutiny of those who will be critiquing not only your words, but every aspect of your blog?

Please raise you hand and share your thoughts.

signature for blog post.

P.S. In 2008 we had an instance when Debbie Yost, a Down syndrome advocate and author of Three Weddings put a call out to all of her cyber friends to help her get a video taken down. Someone had taken a video of children with special needs, turned it into what they thought was a “funny flick” and posted it on YouTube. Debbie did get the video taken down, but not before many had been subjected to emotional scars.

Photo Credit: IanFlaherty

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Look Who's Talking
  1. It sounds as though Tracy handled everything well and took the time to respond, not react to what occurred. I think that’s all we can do. We know going in that this is a very public forum and that some will take offense regardless of our forethought. Blogging is a great exercise in developing a thicker skin.

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s last blog post..How To Extract Your Waiting Wisdom

  2. I’m all for protecting the children. I’ll rethink what photos I post of my grandchildren.

    I went to the canned chickent blog and totally understand why it went viral. Yuk, yuk yuk.

    So I encourage all to go check it out. Then figure out what you can do to go viral!

    In this case the secret’s in the gross factor. I wander how many of those canned chickens will end up at Xmas parties as gag gifts!

    Tess The Bold Life´s last blog post..Magic Monday with Keith Harrell

  3. Writer DadNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Tracy! I’ve always shied away from giving too much information about my children. I paint their lives in broad strokes and give them pen names. I think it’s important to safeguard their privacy as much as I can while trying to honor their existence as well. I ran Writer Dad for 8 months without a picture, but finally thought it was time to show my family for who we are.

    I know someone who posted a picture of his three year old child going to the bathroom in a urinal. I have no words for him.

    Writer Dad´s last blog post..7 Easy (And Fun!) Exercises to Boost Your Creativity

  4. Really interesting stuff here. I don’t post any photos of myself not because I’m afraid of what people might think, but because I’m worried about online crazy people. I do think it’s helpful to have photos though as it allows your readers to connect more with you…I guess you just have to be careful what you do/don’t post.

    Positively Present´s last blog post..9 ways to walk in your own shoes

  5. RachelNo Gravatar says:

    It is a really tricky balance and I think Tracy handled it beautifully.

    While I’m of course aware of cyber-predators and paedophiles who look at pictures of kids differently to how we do, it really didn’t occur to me that other people would post rude things about someone’s kids.

    For what it is worth Tracy your son is gorgeous. I can’t imagine what spiteful rubbish goes on in the minds of people who would say otherwise, and even have the audacity to do so on your blog.

    Rachel´s last blog post..Magic in the Microwave: Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding

  6. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Go Tracy! It is really sad when you are a proud parent, post a picture and then feel the unsavory part of the net.

    Linda´s last blog post..Welcome Back, Greensburg

  7. TracyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi all! Thanks again Barbara for interviewing me.

    Tom, I’m really glad I had the benefit of coaching before this happened, because it would have been difficult for me to not take it personally and react without thinking in the past. It was even pretty funny for me, because almost every thread had:

    Person who cried “Photoshop!”
    Person who tsked tsked everyone for getting excited over *that*
    Person who included link of something they thought was way, way cooler
    Person who said I should wipe that kid’s face

    And so on. It’s all part of the blogging game.

    Hi Tess, I don’t know that it’s necessary to not include photos of children in your blog ever, more that you are mindful of the possible repercussions. We’ll all draw that line in a different place.

    And I think it was not just that the photos were gross but it was such a mundane thing. We’ve all seen chickens! Just not covered in goo and poured from a can.

    Hi Writer Dad, I think it becomes more difficult to know what to share the older they get. I really had to think long and hard before I posted an article about my oldest son and his Asperger’s. In his case, I did get his permission before posting and I’ve never posted his last name. I am very glad he was comfortable with it, because it gave a lot of hope to parents of younger children who have been diagnosed with ASD. At the same time, if he ever asks me to take it down, it’s gone.

    You know, as disgusting and distressing as the idea of anonymous internet pedophiles collecting photos of our children is, I wonder if the real concern is what is life going to be like for these children when they are grown and their entire life is documented on the internet? Will it be so commonplace it won’t matter or will they be aghast that a future date can google a photo of them spreading diaper contents around a room that was yanked and captioned “Potty Training Fail” and makes the rounds of the internet several times a year?

    (And yes, I’ve seen people post photos of diaper training fails online, too!)

    @Positively Present I’ve been a lot more aware of how careful I need to be online since I started going by my real name and photo. I never, ever talk about my husband’s employer or work situation online. Things I used to think nothing of venting on online forums, like school teachers or playdates from hell, I only share with a handful by email now. It’s been a HUGE change.

    On the other hand, I think that the days of being able to feel totally anonymous online are fast coming to an end.

    Tracy´s last blog post..5 Super Creepy Songs

  8. Hi Barbara, this is an interesting and important topic! Kids and the internet is always a touchy issue and I would probably error on the side of not including pictures of kids in my posts. If I did, I definitely wouldn’t approve any negative comments towards them. While I have no problem with people who have differing opinions and attempt to bash my articles, I don’t think it’s right for them to criticize innocent bystanders, especially if it’s a child. Not only would I want to protect the child from this level of immaturity, but I also wouldn’t want my blog to be a vehicle for such immature behavior.

    Vin |´s last blog post..How Sugar Can Ruin Your Life

  9. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    Kind of a shame that we even need to have this conversation, isn’t it?

    I’m pretty selective about what pics of my daughter get posted on line. there are three criteria that need to be a part of any pic of Maddy that gets posted: Her, me, and a shotgun.

    Tracy, I am just amazed about the kinds of things that people would say about your child. The anonymity of the internet breeds some real winners, doesn’t it.

    And Barbara, this is the kind of thing that makes this such a great community and you such a great Matriarch. You pay attention to your clan and bring things to light. One of the many reasons I love BWAB.


    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..What Kindergarten taught me about writing today

  10. Matt KeeganNo Gravatar says:

    I never post family photos online in order to protect their privacy.

    I’ve long been bothered by bloggers who post their kids pictures, thinking that they are showing off these photos to their friends and family members only. In reality, sordid characters can get hold of these photos and use them for despicable means, far beyond than simply making comments about a haircut or a dirty face.

    Matt Keegan´s last blog post..Wolfram Alpha, The Only Search Engine You Need?

  11. TracyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Rachel, I think in general the vast majority of people wouldn’t say anything rude or critical of a child, but there area always people who just have to say everything that’s on their mind, even if there isn’t any point.
    Thanks for the compliment, I think he’s very handsome myself!

    Hi Linda, sometimes even nice people can inadvertently cause hurt to others online. Here’s another case from my forums, a poster starts a thread asking why on earth parents would name a child “insert extremely unique name here”. And the thing is, it was a doozy of a name and a lot of people laughed about it, said WHY would you do THAT? etc.

    Of course, I look and the only place on the entire internet this poor child’s name shows up in on our forums. Eeee!

    BTW, I think some online forums have a ton in common with personal/mommy blogs. It’s truly a way of blogging without a blog!

    Tracy´s last blog post..Thank Goodness for Wordless Wednesday

  12. eveNo Gravatar says:

    Wow, great post, great blogger to interview, and great topic. This si something I have thought on for a while. I personally have decided to include pictures of my daughter, as that is the main focus of my blog, if I didn’t include pictures of my family it would be a boring read! LOL

    I do however try to be careful what pictures I do post, noting that could easily be construed as bad, etc. But you never know what could happen

    I have used my real name online for so long, I do however use my maiden name, mainly because it was convenient not to try to change everything when I go married, but also to have some sort of privacy, allbiet it is probably very easy to find out my info! I am incredibly naive when it comes to trusting places. I like to think I am safe, at least my credit is, the only thing someone could do to it is make it better, I couldn’t finance a piece of gum right now! LOL

    Thanks for the words and things to think on!

    eve´s last blog post..So maybe I am not little miss Housewife!

  13. Lori HoeckNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara and Tracy —

    Thank you for a good “word to the wise” post on this subject. When we blog, the world is watching, including the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    If I had kids, I would not post their photos online. I’ve watched a cyber crimes law enforcement officer, pretending to be teenage girl, talk online to three predators in separate conversations at the same time. The level of sick manipulation on the predators’ part turned my stomach so much I had to leave the room. The officer told me some wealthy predators hire low life individuals to find a kid fitting the exact parameters the predator wants. All the predator does is hand a photo to them and say, “Find me one like this.” It’s too easy to search Google Images with a few key words, plus a location.

    Thankfully, few predators find a child’s photo online to specifically hunt them down. I don’t believe in living in fear from overblown coverage of a type of crime, but I also believe, better safe than sorry. Any photo used should definitely not include last name or location; nothing with the house address in the background or a car license plate; and no shots with something like an identifiable school letter jacket.

  14. I’ve worried some, since when I started my blog, I was so new to blogging that I didn’t realize how “open” a forum it could be. (For being so literate on computers, I was not internet savvy.)

    I use pictures of my son, but I now watermark them, to try to keep them from being easy to steal. I avoid certain pictures, as others have mentioned – no bath/potty pictures – I don’t even share those via other “closed” means (subscribed forums, Facebook, myspace, etc…), where I can moderate the viewers.

    I’ve had a few of my posts go crazier than I thought – mostly my descriptions on when my son and I both ended up with hand, foot and mouth disease. Thankfully, folks seeking that information are usually people who are really looking for serious information, so the comments have been nice and the readers I’ve maintained from my posts on that subject appear to be other parents.

    I avoid using first names on my blog, since I’ve used last names in the title. Yes, I would have changed the use of last names, had I known more about blogging at the get-go. However, as we both have common last names, I’m fairly comfortable with this set-up, at this point.

    As my son gets older and more identifiable, I plan to scale back sharing of his pictures – at least ones distinctly showing his face. I’ve been blogging less about him, too, knowing that I don’t want him embarrassed later. I have avoided sharing certain stories/information about our family, even though I know it might be an “interesting read,” out of respect for my husband and son.

    Tracy – As I just discovered you, via a tweet by Vered, I think you reacted calmly. I’m impressed. Sharing pictures is up to you, but as a mom, I know I do like visiting family blogs where I feel I “know” the characters involved. I do get annoyed if I feel the kids are “overexposed,” however…

    RC – Rambling Along…´s last blog post..Fallen hero

  15. This is a great topic to cover, Barbara!

    And yes, Tracy handled it just right, as so many have already said.

    When I started my blog, and approximately six people read it, I used my kids’ names as well as photos of them. As my blog became more visible (nothing close to Tracy’s, but still…) I began struggling with where to draw the line for the sake of privacy. Telling real stories about real people is what my blog is all about, so I didn’t want to sanitize it. But at the same time, I started worrying about my kids—not just that they might be harmed in some way, but I wondered what stories might make them feel embarrassed down the road.

    I started by removing any photos of their faces pictured straight-on. Later, when an article about me and my blog was about to be featured in a local publication, I took out all references to their first names. Now I use only their first initials (thankfully they all have different ones).

    Kristin T. (@kt_writes)´s last blog post..The sort of people who set free my tears

  16. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    I think one of the key lessons is that you can’t prevent everything or avoid falling down. Instead, learn how to bounce back or get back up … it’s a learn and respond world and expect the unexpected.

    J.D. Meier´s last blog post..Discipline vs. Motivation

  17. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    Before I started my blog I did some reseach on these issues and considered them carefully. In the end, I decided to use my children’s photos, but not their names. They have nicknames and rarely do I let others know what those names are. There are a select few bloggers I’ve gotten to know really well, and I have told them.

    I am very selective about the pictures I post, though. If I post a dirty face, it’s because that’s what it’s about. Not that it’s wrong to do so otherwise and I am not faulting anyone for it. We all know, as parents, we will be judged. When we open ourselves up to the internet, we have even a bigger audience to judge us and with the personal contact removed it is so much easier to be rude and nasty.

    I am a crimanal justice major and my husband was an assistant prosecuting attorney for 6 years, so we know quite a bit about predators. For that reason, I never post nude or semi nude pictures of my children. I have this shot of one of my children with a sippy cup strategically placed. I like it and think it’s funny, but it will never be on the internet. Nor would I post bath photos or photos with my girls shirts off even though they are toddlers or not developed. In fact, I cringe when I see others do it. There are too many creeps out there. I won’t even send those photos over the internet in e-mail to family or friends. Too many people are capbable of hacking that stuff and you don’t want to lose control of it. I also take care to ensure there is no identifying information such as bus numbers or house address in a photo. Yep, photoshop it!

    Children with special needs are especially suseptible to preditors and we have to be extra careful with information about them. I’ve had friends that have had some really cruel comments made to them as well, such as you did your daughter a disservice by allowing your son to be born and burdening her with him. Ignorance, unfortunately, is rampant.

    Whenever possible, we need to use these opportunities to educate and enlighten. Only you can decide if the person making the comment can be enlightened or if you should just cut your losses and ignore him/her.

    In the end, I’ll continue to use my children’s pictures with caution. Like in the “real world” there are possibilities our children will be hurt or abducted and it is terrifying, however, you cannot lock your child in the house and never let them learn for themselves. There are chances on the internet you will run into rude and judgemental people, but on the otherhand, I’ve made a lot of friends who adore my children even if they don’t know their names and I cherish those friendships. I’d hate to lose them because of a few jerks.

    (Barb, sorry for the extra long response.)

    Debbie Yost´s last blog post..Taking a Break

  18. “once something is online it’s usually there forever and you very quickly lose control over how it is used” – this is exactly what bothers me and why I’m so careful (some say overly so).

    Re harsh criticism from social media visitors, it’s part of the game and is best ignored.

    Vered – MomGrind´s last blog post..Bizarre Vintage Ads

  19. CarolineNo Gravatar says:

    I worry about this…that’s why I never post photos of my family (or even talk about them much). I wonder about my photo too…hmmmm. I see all these “Mom blogs” out there and think, holy cow…some people post everything! From the city they live in, to the school their kids attend, and on-line photo albums (with pics of their homes!!!). I don’t know, it’s scary to me. I don’t say where I live, but anyone can find you by the IP address, so are we really that safe? Good stuff to think about… So sorry that Tracy had to go through that.

    Caroline´s last blog post..Soulful Sunday

  20. Blogger DadNo Gravatar says:

    This world would be such a nice place if it weren’t for all the damned people.

    It’s a shame when you can’t even post photos of your children online without having to worry about every possible scenario which could go wrong.

    In answer to your question, no I don’t think anybody can stand up to the scrutiny of a viral post. There is ALWAYS a chance new readers will interpret your post through their own filters and/or mistake something said in jest as something horrible, painting you to be a horrible person.

    Great interview, Barbara and great answers and tips, Tracy.

    I posted something about stalking and protecting your children which you may also find helpful.

  21. Dan MirandaNo Gravatar says:

    I think this post directly struck home directly for me.

    The sole reason I post my photo on my blog is because I think it will give a more personal atmosphere for my blog. Some, however, believe that is incredibly dangerous for me to do so. While I see the danger in posting my photo, I also realize that the chances of a predator are unlikely.

    I’ve only had one case – so far – in Command Your Time’s short history where a woman strongly objected to the safety of me blogging and putting my picture out there.

    If one post of mine were to go viral, I would hope that each and every aspect of my blog were scrutinized. It would make for a much better end product.

    Dan Miranda´s last blog post..6 Things You Can Learn From Gary Vaynerchuk

  22. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    What??!!? I can’t believe the account of how Tracy’s post got viral. Barbara, thanks for highlighting her experience here. Tracy, sorry to hear about how it had bothered you.

    I post some of my kids’ photos. However, I am selective over what I post or do not post. I also avoid giving out private personal details in full. It is best to exercise some caution.

    Evelyn Lim´s last blog post..Express Your Soul Gifts

  23. Mr. NuggetsNo Gravatar says:

    Wow, thank you both for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I’m now anxious to go back over previous posts to see if I’ve shared information that can be triangulated into some identifying way.

    Pictures of my children are offline for me. As much as I love them and want to share pictures of their accomplishments with the world, I’ve heard too many horror stories.

    So, even though I shared about my oldest son’s mono, my middle boy’s autism, my youngest playing “turd monster” I have protected their identities. I’m hoping that is sufficient.

    Thanks for this great reminder….and also for some new information. I was not aware of this “linking scheme” you described, Tracy. Yowza. We do have to be vigilant, don’t we? And sometimes, it’s a judgment call.

    I have not had time to read all the comments here, but will soon.

    Mr. Nuggets´s last blog post..Why it Would Totally Rock to be a Hockey Puck

  24. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    I have posted a baby shot of my youngest child and only one picture of me. After working with so many rape victims and sexually molested children I can not put “my own” on line…now my children write their own comments and and do their own thing on Facebook, and they know what not to put on those sites, because of some of their friends early on mistakes. (Other people’s lessons as teachers)

    The thing that bothers me the most about online pornography – specifically child pornography – is that the Police are getting very good at finding the predators and the down loaders, but they can almost never find the children that were abused for these videos and pictures.

    Thank you to Tracy for sharing her experience so we can all be reminded and learn a new…Thank you Barbara for drawing our attention…maybe this will help some child in the future too – I hope

    Patricia´s last blog post..Summer Reading: Breakfast with Buddha ~Roland Merullo

  25. Wow, very thought-provoking. I don’t have kids yet, but this is definitely something to keep in mind for the future.

  26. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara and Tracy. That whole Chicken in a Can is gross! Turned my stomach. I don’t have children but after reading this I’d certainly hesitate posting their pictures. Would be a challenge though. Parents love to talk about and show off their kids for good reason. And your son is no exception. He is a cutie and it’s pretty odd that people would focus on him, rather than the subject of the post. I don’t post many photos of myself because there are very few that I like.

    Davina´s last blog post..Positively Breathing — Affirmation 3

  27. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Tom – *smiles* I like that. “Blogging is a great exercise in developing a thicker skin.”. That is something we do learn early on – an understanding that no matter what we say or do, “someone” will take offense to it.

    Hi Tess – Yes. Protecting children is of utmost importance. Like you, I understood why Tracy’s post went viral. It’s an original, isn’t it?

    Hi Writer Dad – It sounds like you took precautions before you shared photos. I think that’s a good idea for anyone who’s uncertain if blogging is something they want to pursue.

    Hi Positively Present – That’s very true. We do need to be careful with what we post, or don’t post.

    Hi Rachel – I agree. It is a tricky balance and Tracy handled it perfectly by not giving “them” any more ammunition. And yes, her son is a real cutie.

    Hi Linda – it is sad, isn’t it? Unfortunately it’s not going to change any time soon. In fact, I only seeing it becoming even more prevalent.

    Hi Tracy – You’re very welcome. I feel honored to have you here, sharing your story, and sharing what I believe to be the most important lesson we can learn about blogging – blogging smart when it comes to posting photos of our kids/grandkids.

    Hi Vin – Well put. Our blogs are our home is blogosphere and allowing immature behavior on them is a reflection on us and our beliefs.

    Hi George – Thank you. I hear you. We shouldn’t have to engage in this conversation, however, it is something sadly factual.

    Hi Matt – Sad, isn’t it? Photos that are innocently posted online become “food” for the predators. They must feel like a kid in a candy store. Sick!

    Hi Eve – You’re welcome. That’s a good idea to be careful with what photos you do post as we don’t always know who’s reading our blogs.

    I love what you said about your credit. 🙂

    Hi Lori – You’re welcome. Thank you for sharing your experience as well as the additional safety tips. It’s pretty sad that we have first learn how a predator thinks before we post a photo.

    Hi RC – Your situation is much like many others. When we start a blog, or participate in forums, being new, we’re not aware of the hazards. The precautions you’re taking will definitely work to your advantage.

    That’s a great reminder of what we post now may embarrass our children when they’re older. With kids being so cruel, we certainly wouldn’t want a photo we thought was cute to come back and haunt our children later.

    Hi Kristin – Thank you. That’s interesting how your blog evolved over time. With you blogging about real people that would make it hard to draw the line. Like you said, if you sanitize it to much, the content would lose it’s effect.

    Hi J.D. – Yes. We do learn from our mistakes. And with blogging, we also get to learn from the mistakes of others. How cool is that?

    Hi Debbie – No need to apologize about the length of your comment. It added tons of value to this post. When I think of your blog, it is because you do share stories and photos of your girls that I enjoy it so much. Over the past year I’ve learned of joys and challenges, and of course, I love to read about Peanut’s progress. That’s what makes a mommy (or daddy) blog so special. It wouldn’t be the same without pictures. Kudos to you for taking the precautions you do.

    Hi Vered – Can we be TOO careful? I don’t think so. And yes, harsh criticism is part of the game.

    Hi Caroline – Yes, it can be scary. I think it’s a matter of being aware, blogging accordingly, and having the safety of our children at the top of our list.

    Hi Blogger Dad – Thank you. You’re right. Everyone processes the information through their own filters and where something is said in jest, it can me totally misconstrued.

    BTW: I checked out the link you provided. It’s an awesome post with lots of valuable information. Thank you for sharing.

    Hi Dan – Thank you for sharing how, as a 13 year old, you’re dealing with these issues. It sounds like you thought about this prior to sharing your picture.

    Hi Evelyn – That’s so true. We need to exercise caution when sharing (or not) private details.

    Hi Mr. Nuggets – You’re welcome. That’s a good idea to go back over old posts to see if the information can be triangulated. And yes. We do need to be vigilant. Kinda sad.

    Hi Patricia – You’re welcome. That’s exactly what I’m trying to do – draw attention to what does happen so others can take the necessary precautions.

    Hi Teahouseblossom – I’m happy the post helps. If you have friends with kids who are online, please alert them of what happens, as well.

    Hi Davina – I agree. Parents are proud of their kids and want to share. It’s becoming obvious, the internet may not be the place to do it.

  28. a-kasseNo Gravatar says:

    Well its really a risk to post some pictures on the web specially on a public pages like blogs because you cannot control the people who view and see the pictures whether you use a secured programs to avoid them to copy or save your picture, still there is always a way. All I can say, don’t post pictures if don’t like some troubles in a near future.

  29. that is one of the reasons why I don’t like to post any actual photo that belongs to me.

    Paul @ Palabuzz´s last blog post..Taken from Broad Daylight

  30. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara and Tracy,

    This is a subject I have bounced around in my head several times. And how best to handle it. After many months without any pictures, I have now had a couple of posts with pictures of my kids. I am careful not to name names. And all the pictures I include are all pretty tame. It is like a double-edged sword. I do want to share this part of my life, and at the same time – I question how to do this safely. Great thoughts here, and good stuff for me to think about going forward…

    Lance´s last blog post..Sunday Thought For The Day

  31. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    I can understand why some parents like to share their cute and adorable photos. I just don’t understand doing so online.

    Sure, right now it is cute to have pictures of your kids up on a blog. But years from now, no kid is going to want to see his or her baby book and tons of childhood photos online.

    Not only that, these things are searchable. Other people and maybe even potential employers can find these pictures twenty years down the road.

    I think it is a safer bet not to publish your child’s photo online.

    Chase March´s last blog post..Teaching Tip Tuesday – Rules to Live By

  32. NeosteadNo Gravatar says:

    Very important post. I’ve made a point of never posting a picture of my kid – it really creeps me out. It’s not just predators, but people’s general nastiness online. Criticizing a child’s haircut? Really? Hopefully karma exists for these people.

  33. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – It sucks when things like this happen but I think Tracy handled it well. Unfortunately some social media visitors will be a..holes, no matter what we do or say – that’s how they get their kicks.

  34. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi A-kasse – That is true. Pictures that are posted online can often end up in the hands of the wrong people. We should all proceed cautiously.

    Hi Paul – That’s smart. By not posting any pictures, you’ll remain safe.

    Hi Lance – I hear you. Whether to post photos or not is something we all wrestle with. It’s one thing to post a picture of ourselves, but when it comes to our children, safety needs to be our first priority.

    Hi Chase – That’s a good point. What happens 20 years from now when our pictures are online and we had no say in it? And, by that time, who knows who all have downloaded/copied them?

    Hi Neostead – That is sad, isn’t it – that someone would stoop so low and criticize a child’s hair cut. Unfortunately the internet is free to use by anyone, and when it’s there, people will have their say – good and bad.

    Hi Cath – Good point. That is how some people get their kicks. Sad!

  35. […] many of us have a burning desire to make it big in blogosphere, and tagging onto the article of Tracy’s post going viral, let’s have some fun today and play the game of “What […]

  36. cindy plattNo Gravatar says:

    This post is relevant and timely. I cringed when it was suggested that we put a family photo for Potty Training Power. I winced when Sean interviewed our children on WriterDad. I am protective for many reasons, and discretion is always my mantra. It is difficult to find that balance and criticism means our life has vitality. Barbara and Tracy this post was handled with grace and made me more reflective.

    cindy platt´s last blog post..You are a Writer

  37. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Cindy – Thank you. Yes. We do walk a fine line. With mommy/daddy blogs, in order for them to succeed, family photos are (almost) vital to show authenticity, but yet as parents we want to protect our children. Using discretion in the photos that are posted, is key.

  38. […] Remember Tracy, of I Hate My Message Board? When I interviewed her last month, she told us what happened when a post of hers went viral (see: For The Sake Of The Children, Blog Smart) […]