Coffeehouse Thread

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Posting Old Memories

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  • User profile image

    I have been tasked (as a volunteer) to create some web pages/website that host a plethora of photographs from my elementary school days.  Kind of a class reunion thing.

    One of the class members suggested posting photos of our current families and our kids, so everyone can see what we all look like today.  My concern is with posting pictures of children and possibly identifying them by name.  I have concerns here with this in regards to internet predators possibly stumbling upon these pictures and something bad transpiring.

    Am I overly concerned?  Is my concern justified?

    I know I could implement security pretty easily, but now someone has to manage who has access and who doesn't.  I may be one of the only tech savvy people involved so it could end up as another task on my plate.

    What would you do?

  • User profile image

    I would raise my concerns to all classmates that want their kids' pictures up and see what they think. Whatever the majority decides wins. I think its quite simple really.

  • User profile image

    It is a tough one. Will there be contact details on the page? If not I would feel better about posting the pictures. If there is, then yes, some security should be setup. If you don't want the responsibility, then raise your concerns with the other parents. If they decide to post the pictures, that is their choice. I wouldn't though.

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    John Melville-- MD

    I think I'll be a little bit of a maverick here.  I really think the risk is quite minimal.

    Point #1 -- child abuse by a complete stranger is rare.  I work as a pediatrician, including a stint in a child advocacy center where we evaluate child abuse, and I've never seen it.  The overwhyelming majority of abused children and abused by close associates or family members.  (The rare cases of random kidnappings strike at a primal fear in every parent, including me, and get lots of media coverage.  Theys till are, mercifully, quite rare.)

    Point #2 -- kids are everywhere.  If a perp really wanted to find a random kid to go perp on he (or she) really doesn't need the internet for help.  There are far better ways, like listening to kids play at the local park to get names and interests of kids who are local, without the travel requirements of looking up kids on the internet.  (Most of the children who are "lured" over the internet are middle and older adolescents, looking for sex with an adult, and in interactive contexts.  Your project has none of these attributes.)

    Point #3 -- the information you are talking about providing (picture and names. maybe some of the parents educational history) is pretty innocuous.  There is concern about perps playing the "confidence trick" on young kids, but young children are very easy to trick even with minimal information you can get with observation, and very few older children will be impressed by a stranger who only knows their name and their parents' names.

    In summary, I think a photos of your classmates with pictures and names of their kids are pretty safe.  What I worry about more are websites that advertise that children will be vulnerable or away from their parents (like the birth registries that hospitals used to put up,) than websites that merely identifyt the existance of certian children.

    PS: For all the niners who I know will flame me for thinking like a perp.  Yes, I do think like a perp, as revolting as it is: it's my job!  There really are monsters out there that prey on children and it is my honor and my duty of protect kids, and so I do my job well.  So thanks in advance for processing this information like the adults we all are.

  • User profile image

    Thanks for the input Doc.
    My feelings were always that the stranger to stranger abductions as a percentage have remained unchanged for decades.  You seem to confirm that in your statements.  It is always the close family members you need to keep your eyes on.

    I think "innocuous" is a good description.

    I got a feeling I will be putting the topic up to a vote.

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