Zero Followers – should parents be allowed to upload their kids’ lifes on social media?

I’m a child of the late 80s – videos were made at Christmas and birthdays at best. With a video camera, which is more cumbersome to make videos than my laptop today and about as heavy and was recorded on tapes.

Today’s generation of children doesn’t even know what the square pencils were used for as long as there were cassettes in the household…

The whole childhood is documented on the internet

My husband and I sometimes feel as if we were aliens in a world full of parents in need of communication, who spam me full of children’s pictures via Whatsapp status even when I’m not even on a first-name basis with them. Why should I be interested in the vacation pictures of my back training trainer, on which her eight-year-old daughter can be seen in a bathing suit or I can see that they just had to put down their dearly beloved family dog and all four children are gathered around the fireplace crying? And what moves said trainer to make these insights into her private life and that of her children accessible to me on a daily basis (without being asked)? Is this just careless on her part, already negligent, or is harassment of me added to the offense? Yes, I know the function to mute Whatsapp status displays. But that doesn’t attack the root of all evil, which is that some parents just carelessly and thoughtlessly post things that (shouldn’t) concern anyone except really close acquaintances and relatives.

Questionable terms of use

Who reads the fine print on their cell phone, especially when it spans 25 densely written digital pages on a display smaller than the palm of my hand? Incidentally, a picture in Whatsapp status with “incorrect” settings not only goes to all numbers stored in the cell phone (so in case of doubt also to the tax advisor or the dentist), but also goes directly viral, because Facebook and Instagram are directly coupled. And whether the profiles of these parents are private there, I may doubt.

The right to self-determination 

This careless handling of children’s pictures is in stark disproportion to other, socially “accepted” behavior on the Internet. Data protection is more topical than ever, and it feels like every second person is annoyed by cookie banners on the Internet.

Companies ask me for permission or have to prove “legitimate interest” (as the law states) to store text files in the browser in order to be able to derive my interests from my surfing behavior. They do this, among other things, to show me targeted advertising that matches my interests. Cookies as a technical solution will soon be obsolete and there will soon be alternatives, but the intention of the legislator remains: Companies may only know something about me personally if I agree to it. – However, paving the net with pictures of one’s own children is, in contrast, not a problem.

So now I ask you, what is going wrong here…?

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