Help – someone else has posted a photo of my child on social media

04 Aug 2021 UK SIC

Many people have different reasons for choosing whether to share pictures of their children on social media or not. This is a very individual choice, and there is no right or wrong decision to make. However, if you have decided to not post pictures of your child on social media it can sometimes feel worrying to see others post a picture of your child online without your consent.

This blog from UKSIC partner Childnet looks at ways you can start a conversation with those who have posted a picture of your child, as well as further steps you can take to report the picture.

Talk to them

One of the first things to do when you see that someone has posted a picture of your child online is to stay calm and talk to them. When speaking to the person without judgement or blame, there are a couple of decisions you need to make about what you want the next steps to be. These could include:

If you are happy for the picture to remain online under certain circumstances:

  • Asking them to check their privacy settings, making sure that their profile is set to private and that only their friends can see their posts and pictures.
  • Ask them to remove tags and locations. If any of the images have been location tagged then you can ask that these are removed from their post.

You want the photo removed:

As a parent or carer, you are well within your rights to ask them to remove the image altogether. If you feel it is appropriate you can explain your reasons for not wanting to have the images online, or can just be honest that it makes you uncomfortable.

If you are unhappy with the image being online and they are happy to remove it, you can also set boundaries going forward. Boundaries could include that no images are to be posted online but sending images by private message is okay, or that only pictures without your child’s face in can be posted.

Make a report

There can be some situations where talking to someone who has posted a picture of your child is not an option, or when asking for the photo to be removed has not worked. On some social media sites, you can report the photo for violating your child’s privacy.

On Facebook

There is a reporting portal on Facebook specifically for reporting privacy violations in images of your children. To report the image through this route you have to include a URL link to the image or post containing the image.

On Instagram

The Instagram reporting portal contains information on how to report a privacy violation whether you have an Instagram account or not. To report an image or video of your child on Instagram you can visit the Instagram help centre.

If reporting hasn’t worked

If you have tried reporting the picture already and no action has been taken, you can escalate your report by talking to our partners at Report Harmful Content.

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