blogging gobbledygook and such

This got self thinking about putting photos of our friends and family on our blogs.

Many people don’t give two tosses of what their loved ones might feel about posting photos of them on their blogs, simply because most of their loved ones don’t have a problem with that. It’s really no big deal for some people.

And yet, for self, am rather pissed off when someone posted photos of self on her blog without her notifying self at the very least. Her response when have left a sulky comment in that post was that self ought to have expected the photo to appear in her blog seeing as she’s well-known for her blog.

When had agreed to take a photo with her, it did not occur to self that she would plaster self’s face on her blog, and neither did she bother to ask or inform self about her plan to do so. It wasn’t so much about the lack of privacy by having the photo published in her blog that makes self mad than the fact that she knew am a naturally camera-shy person and would definitely have appreciated being asked permission for self’s face to appear on her blog. In this way, she has not respected self’s right at all as the owner of self’s face in the picture!

Can that be said the same for us when we put photos of our loved ones in our blogs? Do we own our faces in that sense? After all, we don’t exactly truly own our comments when we make comments in people’s blogs, do we?

Am thinking of posting pictures of some kids on self’s blog (have actually done so before in a post in archives, but this thought did not occur to self at all then), but according to atthe404 in the WordPress.com forum thread,

My issue is that there can – in the worst case – be hazards attached to publishing photographs of children on the net. Worse IMHO – is that a child is not in a position to consent or prohibit such exposure. The fact that it is the child’s parent using the avatar (allegedly) scarcely ameliorates the concern. In the UK there are very strict laws about this kind of thing.

So, is it okay to post photos of loved ones without their permission?

Edit: Okay, said friend has removed photo. So… sulz loves her friend back. πŸ˜›

Comments on: "Is it okay to put pictures of people on our blogs?" (20)

  1. I think its fine to post pictures of your loved ones.

    sulz: i’m sure you do, but why?

  2. I don’t want people posting my picture with out asking, so I don’t post theirs. Unless you really know the person would not mined, just use another pic. That’s my picture posting philosophy. πŸ™‚

    sulz: yea, am not happy with people posting pictures of self without asking too. what about kids? do you agree with atthe404, or it’s okay to post their pictures?

  3. Yes and no. If it’s a personal, family orientated blog, then sure go ahead and post. But if the blog is a some what professional site, where people come to you for insight, then pictures of your children should not be posted.

    Avatars are meant as an expression of yourself, so others will have an idea of who they are interacting with; thus the picture should be something representative of yourself. Parents are not their children, they should find a better form of expression.

    sulz: hmm, good points! πŸ™‚

  4. Netty Gritty said:

    in the world of photojournalism there is this thing called “Model release”. simply put, before you publish or sell someone’s photo you have to have written permission. that’s the prerequisite of many photo agencies to avoid futue lawsuits.

    i’d say since blogosphere is in public domain, the same rule applies. at least we should ask, if not get it written down and signed!

    sulz: what about embarrassing photos of celebrities? didn’t think the papparazzi got permission for them!

    yea, would agree with you about a verbal agreement.

  5. As long as it’s a nice photo (haha) and my real name is not disclosed. If it’s used for financial or political gain, then I’d definately tell that person to get my permission first.

    I got a friend who just started blogging and posted some pics of our friends.

    Sometimes I see funny/disgusting/embarrassing pics of people and I wonder if the blogger got any permission from the ppl in those pics to post them up.

    It’s like disclosing info/gossip. Sometimes you do not ask permission because you know you wouldn’t get it but it feels exciting to spread the world.

    That’s why I don’t post pics of my friends or ppl I know :p They have a right to their privacy.

    The debate: is the right to published stands with the photographer, photo editor, publisher/blogger or the people in the pics?

    sulz: hmm, yea if self’s name wasn’t on self’s photo wouldn’t mind half as much actually – a good compromise to consider too.

    yea, just like the debate about editing comments, whose right does the photo belong to?

  6. Thanks for picking up on my point Sulz. I can think of a lot of circumstances where putting up photos would seriously discomfit the person concerned. So is that right? Supposing a girl is absolutely drop dead gorgeous?
    Or supposing she is the opposite – maybe she feels very uncomfortable about her appearance? Then what. The thing about children is even worse. The thing there – apart from the obvious – is that if you say – put kids in TV programmes – they can become famous without meaning to.
    And when they reach adulthood that can’t be undone.
    And I seriously worry about the self image of someone who uses an avatar of their own child. Are these people nuts?

    sulz: it’s definitely a valid point and ought to be discussed further. πŸ™‚ so if putting pictures of our loved ones is not right, then guess many of us are ignorant about that… people only see their apparently harmless intentions but have yet to see the bigger picture.

    so, no more baby photos for you guys anymore. πŸ˜‰

  7. I do not agree with posting real pictures of loved ones on the Internet – even if you have their permission. A picture is just like other personal information and can be abused if it falls into the wrong hands. Avoiding the more obvious reasons against —> that revolve around a world full of crazies, misanthropes and people looking to make illegal profit at others expense (i.e. how many daily emails scams do you get?). We can then get to the inadvertent damage you can do to individuals whose pictures you post. One, most any picture posted can be copied by individuals looking at those pictures and can then in turn be altered and/or used in nefarious ways that could damage the reputation or prosperity of that individual. And another reason to worry is that businesses are Internet savvy and company employees and executives are using the same Internet that you are. If you say something that one of those individuals feels is inappropriate and they recognize the picture of the person you posted, as a fellow employee it came come back onto the person whose picture you have posted. It can effect their employment and maybe even their personal life. Say for instance you are mad a particular company and you blog negatively about it. Maybe the person whose picture you have posted has given you some dirty little company secrets and in your rage you posted one of them. And while skimming the Internet an executive notices a familiar face that you have posted on your blog. That executive will probably at the very least hassle the individual to find out information on the post. I have heard of cases here in the US where bloggers who have posted personal information and opinions, that had nothing directly to do with the company, and that company executives did not like, that then turned around and fired the blogger. Personal Photos are like personal information, too risky to indiscriminately share over the Internet.

    sulz: all these could be implications of just a mere posting of photos? wow, didn’t realise that… lots of reasons not to post photos – but wait, a compromise could be to put photos in a protected post in which only readers with the password can view it, perhaps?

  8. Should we restrict our lives based on what the crazies, loonies and perverts might get up to?

    Do we stop our children from going out in public because a pervert might look at them and get excited?

    Should we censor ourselves and not write anything at all because anything we write could be edited or used out of context to damage us and those close to us?

    Should we walk around in a cloak of fear that is largely of our own making? Should we transfer that cloak of fear to our blogging?

    I use photos of myself, my Other Half and our two young boys on our blog. I exercise some care and judgement in what I publish both out of respect for them and because I know of people who’ve been suspected of child abuse because of taking innocent photos of their children naked in the bath or playing in the garden.

    But they also have a veto over what I publish. When I’m writing a post with photos of them, they have a look at what I’m doing and if they feel uncomfortable then the photo doesn’t get published.

    It’s no different to me writing a book about our life on a traditional croft. I’d involve my family in the decision-making process and respect their views on what to include and what not to include.

    Similarly, if we were to feature in a TV programme (which we have done twice), we talk about what’s involved, what’s to be shown and what’s not to be shown. Everyone’s point of view is respected.

    Personally, I’d rather take life and people on trust with the occasional breach of that trust, than to treat life and people with suspicion, fear and mistrust.

    sulz: interesting point of view! yet it remains with the other commenters that consent of the other person must be given, the form of which notwithstanding.

    am quite inclined to see life the way you do too. πŸ™‚

  9. For me I’ll only do it IF involved party frequently posts her own pictures on the Net/blog.

    sulz: well, logically, she would be okay with her pictures on the net since she does it herself, so yea that’s sounds alright. πŸ™‚

  10. IMHO: It is not right for adults to make ANY of these decisions on a child’s behalf. Because a child on reaching majority – can not take the images back. They are out there. Now abuse – and the risks are one thing.
    But my real concern is privacy and respect for the individual. And when parents are just poised ready to screw up their kids – mysteriously they always seem to have a good reason for it. Maybe we are just sensitive. Here in the UK – a child – very similar to the avatar which triggered this issue – has just disappeared in very disturbing circumstances. But having a child does not IMHO confer any kind of *ownership* on the parents. A child has rights, feelings, and needs. And just because they do not complain does not mean that what happens to them is always right. Its not. And just because a parent can superficially – within limits – do anything – does not make them good parents.

    sulz: but you’re talking in the context where the child is too young to decide about something like that – what if he’s old enough to? does that make it okay if the child gives consent? or should we just hide them from the internet world to minimise the risks you have pointed out?

    maybe the best compromise would be to put photos in a password-protected environment. you get to put it up, and it would only be accessible to people you trust (assuming the post wasn’t hacked into).

  11. I think it’s completely wrong to put somebody’s picture up on your blog without prior permission. I for one would kill somebody if they posted a picture of mine in their blog. It happened recently actually. A friend of mine saved a photo from my album and pasted it in his own album and gave it a caption “A friend of mine who thinks he should be mister universe”.

    Now since I’m not all that good looking, I always get rather touchy when people laugh looking at my photograph and this guy was making them do just that. He was my best friend at one time but this wasn’t acceptable. I told him that I won’t talk to him and did that for a couple of days. Finally he realized his mistake and removed the picture. Otherwise I was going to delete him from my list and report abuse against him.

    In my opinion, putting up pictures of somebody is as bad as reading a personal diary. Maybe the person was fine with sharing his/her photo with you but that doesn’t mean you go around advertising them.

    sulz: the so-called friend doesn’t feel that she’s wrong to do it and is defending her action. our friendship now is rather strained because of this, but hell if am going to back down from self’s rights! her best friend who initially understood self’s reaction (because she’s quite camera-shy too) suddenly did a 180 and defended her best friend’s actions. what ever! πŸ™„ wow, you really mean business; am not going to stop talking to her at the moment because we’re involved in class projects and that would just complicate things, so things between us are strictly professional.

  12. I have no problem posting pictures of other people on my blog or having them post pictures of me. It’s not like everyone in the world couldn’t knock on my door and see my face…no big deal.

    I can’t help but think you used this forum to bash your “friend” more than anything else though. Even if you followed it up with they are your friend again because they did what you asked, you are worried about them treating you with respect but you didn’t treat them with much respect yourself.

    Just something you might want to consider.

    sulz: which part exactly are you referring that implies self’s lack of respect of her? and what is your opinion of her actions?

    this is not a forum, it’s a personal blog, hence presumably lots of personal stuff would appear here. self’s seemingly disrespecting account may provide another perspective to people who don’t think it’s a big deal posting pictures of their loved ones without permission. am also thinking about publishing photos of other people in this blog, that was the main reason for getting readers’ opinion on this.

  13. Hello Sulz,
    Thank you for putting this issue in a blog, where I feel it belongs. I and some others have strong feelings about family pictures online, particularly using family members other than oneself as Avatars. In calming down, and taking a few days to think about this, though, I realize I’m not in the camp of “anticipating trouble’, but of protecting an individual’s privacy now and in the future.
    The first thing many new parents or grandparents do is start showing pictures of the new baby to everyone they know. They are justifiably proud and pleased. And this can keep on for years. I agree with stonehead that we can’t, nor do we want, to keep kids from any and all public exposure. It’s just that the Internet is a very public venue, and, apparently, lifelong.

    Here’s a joke that I got in email last night:
    Little girl to visiting grandmother: “I’m happy you’re here, grandma. Now dad will do the trick he promised.”
    “Oh, what trick, dear?”
    “Dad said, ‘If that woman comes over here, I’m going to climb the walls!'”

    While not the best joke in the world, it’s all very charming if it’s in a general context. But what if this doorstep conversation had actually been heard by a neighbor, who then told friends, and posted it in the neighborhood blog, complete with names?
    It’s not just the pictures of the children which could be used to their disadvantage, but we also often exploit children’s naivete. I might not want to read this “cute” thing I said as a child 20 years from now on someone’s website. I also agree with Root that children do not have the capacity to give consent for what is published about them. I don’t know how old they would need to be to do that–at least 10 or 12? But, still, young persons that age might feel pressure from family to comply. As for the Avatar issue, I’ve seen lots of them with “real” children this week, now that I’ve become aware–mostly bearing the “Parenting” tag, if in WordPress. I’m not happy about this, but I realize it’s not my job to approve of others, but to try to maintain a state of equilibrium.

    Sulz, I think your proposal to keep family photos in private posts and blogs is a good one. They’d still be accessible to those who care about the people involved. I appreciate your [as usual] open-mindedness about this, and giving us a place to share our views. And I’m glad you and your friend worked out your differences! πŸ™‚

    sulz: thanks for your comment, muse, it’s very well-explained and thoughtful! yes, am glad about friend too πŸ™‚ ; she did it on her own accord. even though she didn’t see anything wrong with what she did (after all her intentions were good), she did it because she knew am uncomfortable with it. that was nice of her.

  14. Sulz,

    if you look around my blog, even though it is quite personal you won’t find identifiable pictures of my friends and family (or myself, for that matter). I just don’t feel comfortable with disclosing that kind of information to whomever happens to come across it while searching for “moist panties” or “weird sexless babies”.

    I guess i don’t have a rational, explainable reason for my discomfort; it just feels wrong. I’m not sure i would do it even with permission.

    sulz: hmm, didn’t think about those people who visit our blogs through weird search terms – that’s another perspective to consider about posting photos! if you feel bad about it, there must be a good reason even if you can’t explain it at the moment. πŸ™‚

  15. I think permission needs to be given before a person’s image is posted on a blog…I just wrote about this same issue and I linked to your discussion because it covers so many good points on the issue.

    Even though others are at peace with having their image out there…no matter how they truly feel about it…doesn’t make it right. Good manners go a long way and asking first can never hurt.

    sulz: oh, absolutely! thanks for the link love. πŸ™‚

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