Almost exactly two years ago, I wrote a post about how I am careful about the photos I share of kids on this site and Born Just Right’s social media pages. Specifically, limb different kids. I focus on the stories we learn as Jordan grows and share a lot of the photos I take along the way. The limb difference community as we know it today didn’t exist eleven years ago… It’s grown and thanks to that growth, we all know our kids and our families are not alone.
But as our community has grown, the photos of our kids are easily found. And that’s where I get worried about people who steal images for their own purposes. Our kids’ images don’t deserve to be a part of clickbait and memes. I said back two years ago, our family made the decision (and Jordan is now old enough to consent) to continue to tell stories on Born Just Right to help others and help continue to build community. It’s a community we adore and have needed ever since Jordan was born.
By putting ourselves out there, we knew at some point, our photos would end up in the wrong hands. Surprisingly, it happened for the first time yesterday. And as I predicted, a wonderful person in our Born Just Right community alerted me to the misuse of Jordan’s photo. (Thank you, Linda Bannon!) A page had added text to Jordan’s photo and was asking for “likes” and comments. I quickly reached out to the page owner and let her/him know that the post violated copyright. Eventually, the person returned to argue with me over how it’s impossible to prove copyright. (Not true.) I decided to turn in a full copyright violation report to Facebook. Eventually, the person deleted the post. But not before my blood pressure was boiling.
We need to encourage all our friends and family members to not share posts like this one. A page that is looking for likes and comments is not really looking for a meaningful interaction. They’re looking for statistics. The page that pushes you to share a photo is trying to expand that page. Images that are meaningful are images YOU choose to share. Not a post where a page asks you to share it… especially when it’s a photo of a child with no clear connection to the page.
A mother in Kansas has a petition on Change.org asking Facebook to add more protections for our kids. I signed it.
I will tell you this. I know you have my back. And I have yours as well. I have a job that keeps me online a lot. If I ever stumble into something suspicious, I save the link and go back and research it after work. If I see an obvious security or copyright violation, I am not afraid to call it out. If we all keep an eye out for each other, our kids will be safer. Our community will be stronger. We can celebrate differences without worrying our beautiful photos will be used in an inappropriate way. It takes a village.
I appreciate each and every person who reads Born Just Right and contributes to our community here and on Twitter and Facebook. When you and I share and comment and like, it has meaning. I’m proud of how we connect online and in person as often as possible. We are all raising strong, healthy and confident people together and I know I wouldn’t be able to do that without you.