So I Posted Photos of My Kid Online and This is Where They Ended Up
A few years back, I thought blogging about my family would be SO! FUN! What a great way for all our long-distance relatives and old friends to see what was going on in our lives.
So I posted pictures of us.
There were pictures of ultrasounds, our dog, my growing baby belly.
Then there were pictures of the twins doing all their twinny kinds of things.
And somewhere along the way, strangers started tuning in. Which was cool. I started to make connections with people going through the same struggles I was. This blogging thing was SO! SO! FUN!
Now, I wasn't totally naive. I knew there were weirdos trolling the Internet. And I've never hit POST without first considering what I was putting out there for the world to see. No last names, no nudity, no addresses or specifics.
And then it happened. I stumbled on a picture I took of the twins during potty training. Their legs were exposed and smeared with unspeakables (It was epic and photographic evidence was non-negotiable in my head). This is what mommy blogging is all about, yes? Taking funny pictures of your kids and posting them on the internet? Hello? SO FUN!
This picture was taken and posted on a website where people turned it into something truly sick. Something twisted. And I projectile vomited my coffee exorcist-style. There's nothing like a pedophile to ruin a party.
You bet your tush I've been blaming myself. Did I serve up a pedophile pu-pu platter to the world when I made that post? I'm the one responsible. I took the picture and shared it. There's nobody to blame but me.
I would do anything to protect my children. I would gladly die for them. I stayed in bed for 2 months for them. I gave birth medication-free for them. Safety first, people! And here I was-putting them at risk with my blog.
So the FBI was notified and their child pornography taskforce is on the job. My pictures were removed and the user shut down after pulling out my Internet Mean Girl on their asses. And the fate of my blog remains unknown.
If it stays up, you can expect no pictures of my kids for a little while. You might get a lot of pictures of me. Or pictures of stick figures, but that's about it.
Of course, I'm sure there's someone out there with a stick figure fetish. If you can imagine it, there's someone who thinks it's sexy.
So learn from my mistakes. And here's a little PSA action for you:
1. Don't post any pictures of your children in any state of undress. Of course, this site had pictures of fully-dressed kids as well, so you can't ever be 100% safe as long as you're posting pictures, but it helps reduce the chances.
2. If you want to check your online photos, there are a few ways to do this:
- You can click and drag your pictures to your search toolbar. This will bring up any copies or similar images.
- You can right click on your picture, copy the url, and paste it in your search engine. This will bring up any copies.
- You can download a program, like TinEye, which will help you search for copies of your files
3. You can make it more difficult to steal your photos by watermarking them or using a non-right-click script like this one.
4. Be a food blogger.
Is the internet a scary, effed up place? Yep. So is the world. It stands to reason that the internet would be a direct reflection of all that crazy. But the internet is also great. I've met so many of you because of it.
Thank you to those of you who are cool and awesome and not pervy. For the rest of you, well, this Mama Bear will cut you.