BP #10: “Do Parents Invade Children’s Privacy When They Post Photos Online?”

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With social media’s growing presence in our lives, it becomes easy to forget just what we are posting. A recent article from NPR addressed this.

Katlyn Burbidge’s 6 year old son brought what she was posting to her attention in a way most of would not even think of. After going to post photos of him on her Facebook wall, her son asked her if she would not post them. It did not dawn on her until then that she had been posting photos of him online without ever asking for his permission. “I get to approve tags and photos of myself I want posted [when online]- why shouldn’t my child?” She said, after stating she now gets his approval before posting photos of him on Facebook.

There is a new children’s rights idea called “sharenting” which is a new term for what parents share online about their children. Some advocates for children’s rights are saying that “children should have a voice about what information is shared with them if possible”. This raises the moral question of if children really have a say in what gets shared with the world about them, not only in general, but by their parents. What constitutes members of a moral community differs according to different codes of ethics. According to Kant’s philosophy, the moral community is based on anyone who is capable of rationality. After ruling out plants and animals, it deals with the narrow implications of the moral community on humans. Kant’s view excludes the severely mentally ill and mentally retarded, the senile, temporarily comatose, and infants from the moral community. Therefore, if put up to Kant’s standards, this idea of “sharenting” would be deemed irrelevant. Having small children would give the parent’s authority over them to make their decisions until they have developed enough to become an included part in the moral community.

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One thought on “BP #10: “Do Parents Invade Children’s Privacy When They Post Photos Online?”

  1. This is a really interesting article! I think you brought up some great points. I never thought about parents asking for permission to post pictures of their own children, but it definitely makes sense to me. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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