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What Should I Do If Other People Post Pictures or Videos of My Child Online Without Asking Me First?


Unfortunately, some people might not see any issues with posting a photo or video of your child without permission. Unless the post violates the social media platform's terms of service, there's not a lot you can do to take it down. You can't, for example, call or email Facebook and request that the post be deleted. However, you can make clear your family's rules about sharing pictures and videos online with others.

Not everyone feels the same way about social media, so it can be tough to discuss this with friends, relatives, and even teachers. Try not to imply that your rules are better than theirs. Just be honest that it makes you or your child uncomfortable. You can also use this as an opportunity to show your kids how to give consent. Ask them if they're OK with others posting photos and videos of them, especially as they get older. If you or your child don't want pictures and videos shared, it's up to you to let people know.

Here are some ways to approach people who post about your child without your or your child's go-ahead:

  • Without judgment, simply ask the person to delete it, or to crop it so your kid isn't in the post. Say, "I'm not ready for this yet" or "I try to keep my kid's picture off of social media."

  • Ask the poster to not use names or tag social media accounts—and definitely don't include location tags. That will limit exposure and online safety concerns.

  • Let them know the kinds of posts you are OK with being shared. For example, you might be comfortable with photos that don't show your kid's face.

  • Ask the poster what their privacy settings are. If their profile is private, it limits who can see your child's photo.

  • You might be OK with sharing photos or videos of your kid if only certain people see it. In that case, you can ask the poster to limit viewers in their profile settings. Or ask them to instead use private photo-sharing sites that require log-ins, like Flickr.

  • If the poster pushes back, explain that you're worried about your kid's privacy. Once a post is online, anyone can share it.

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