Sunday, October 29, 2006

What's it all About?

I just read a post on a "Mommy Blogger's" blog that deals with her angst at someone swiping a picture from her flickr account of her child and altering it and posting it on this scum's blog in some mean way. Not sexual. Mean and stupid. Coward.

My first reaction was to run in and check on my sleeping children so to speak. You know it's a screwed up world. You know that. I know that. It's just, why would somebody do something so hurtful? I don't really know the players. It's not important. In the call and response, there was some discussion (maybe 1% of the comments) that indicated it's a big world on this here Internet and you shouldn't post pictures of your children in a public account such as flickr.

That got me to thinking. Well, in my true procrastinating style, I do have a flickr account, but I don't think I have any pictures in it. I do have pictures of my family in my blog but who the hell even knows me? But I can't say that I haven't thought about having posted the pictures.

Reading her account and as I read the comments, I felt a little bit sick, as if I had served my children up on a platter for viewing. I feel stupid and vulnerable. I share stories of my life because I like to write. The pictures that I have used thusfar are a little sideshow to the story. I feel that I have control and can shut the door whenever I like. But now I'm left with a lingering doubt about having identified any of us. It's not like anybody could find me in "a boro of NYC". Okay that narrows it down to about 8 million people. Close. It's just that I have shared my most precious treasures with the world. And sick bottom feeders like this can take a picture of a sweet little child and put a mean caption. Or take jabs at the parents for even sharing in the first place.

So here's the thing. I would shutter the place up yesterday if I felt that my family was compromised in any way.

For now I'll just put the chain lock on as I mull this crap.

24 comments:

cindra said...

Mean people suck.

Logophile said...

G,
I so know what you mean. I try to do some common sense things to keep our heads down but the idea of people doing stuff, ack, its so disturbing, isn't it?
I hear ya, sistah

weirsdo said...

You can set your photos on Flickr to private. I did that with the one I used and only posted a small version to my site, so no one can really tell the kids well enough to recognize them.
I try to be very cautious about images, but probably the value of that pales in comparison to having good communication with the kids so that I will know if anyone is bothering them.

The ZenFo Pro said...

People do indeed do some very random stuff based on what they read online, or with flickr images, etc. And, yeah, thre are some very mean people out there. Cyberspace opens up a whole world of michief for a lot of mean people.

Al said...

Wow! Scary, G...

Did the guy who stole the picture know "Mommy Blogger?", or was it a random exploitation? If random, how did the "Mommy Blogger" find out about it? Rather than type in the whole scoop, maybe you can post the link to "Mommy Blogger's" post about it?

Definitely creepy, especially to think that this might be a more common practice than we imagine.

neva said...

i know the "mommy blogger" you're referring to, and i feel just terrible for her (someone used one of her pictures of her beautiful daughter and "doctored" it in order to make an offensive statement). i'm certain the person who did this was looking for attention (more readers)... which, of course, is the one thing they won't get.

sadly, there are a lot of folks out there who are willing to stir up the blogger pot in order to create drama. i think it's always best to ignore them, otherwise their egos (and traffic) will continue to grow. let's just turn our backs on these attention whores, and hope they'll go away.

i don't know what to say about using pictures of your kids. i think in this day and age we can't be too careful... but i *also* believe we shouldn't have to be held hostage because there are weird people out there. what's the answer? i wish i knew. talk to your children about "stranger danger", stay alert, guard usage of your pictures, i suppose...

and, in case of intruders, maybe install an alarm or two around your blog? xox

G said...

cindra: no doubt about it.

logo: Very disturbing. The thought that somebody would pick on a child. I'd like to sucker punch the shmuck.

weirsdo: Communication is key, so agree.

zenfo: You're so right. Cyberspace just opens a world of mischief for cowards and losers (and not necessarily in that order).

Al: The link to the Mom's blog is below. My feeling is that she seems to have a pretty successful blog with a lot of traffic and that just rankles some people.

Neva touches upon it a bit more below and you can read Sweetney's (the blogger's post) from the link.

Neva: You know I check in on Sweetney's blog from time to time ever since you introduced her stuff at the Snark. She's great. I just happened to check in on the post yesterday and I felt so bad for her.

Believe it or not, I'm not as worried about the stranger danger thing as the whole cruel use of someone so sacred to a mom - their child. It's just beyond the pale. As I mentioned good luck finding us in a city of 8 million. But the use of your sweet child's photo, well it just gave me pause.

As Weirsdo mentioned, there are ways to privatize your accounts with these image share spots. I agree - you want to live your life as you see fit, share snippets. I think it's the initial reaction to reading poor Sweentey's account. The alarms go in today.

SWEETNEY

G said...

Anyway, I prematurely published that comment, but basically that is the link to the blogger's site Sweetney.com. She has a very entertaining blog and I'm sure she wouldn't mind the support.

First Nations said...

disgusting. people can be such idiots.

FelineFrisky said...

I agree with Cindra and with First Nations. I had second thoughts myself, when posting pics of HonBun & I. But I have a greater need to connect with my friends than fear of unknown enemies. Do as your conscious demands. D :}

Minka said...

I think teh world´s population is mostly good and those few odd ones are really cruel. Is that a reason to limit yourself, express yourself less for their sake???
I don´t have any children and I can hardly contemplate the protectiveness one must feel towards them...I wish teh world would be safer. I hate that a few ruin it for the entire rest!

G said...

fn: TOTAL!

ff: It's not fear of unknown enemies, but rather sharing of something so precious. Two very different things. This was my kneejerk reaction to reading this poor woman's account.

Minka: I think you kind of got to the crux of it. Ultimately, I was just expressing frustration at this sort of thing. I will go on and speak as I always have - my own little take on life. Idiots like this are out there, and hopefully this is the last I speak of them.

gingajoy said...

ok--i don;t post pics for my own reasons (and my, uhm, hubby's deeper sense of paranoia than mine) BUT i would say that this is the last reason to change anything if you do post pics--my sentiments echo neva's to be honest. I enjoy seeing family pics, and for the most part it's a great way to build the community and its bonds.

nasty assed shit, though... for sure.

Doug said...

I do worry about kids on the internet, but I'm not sure of what. It is true that any picture on the web is downloadable and, therefore, editable and uploadable.

G said...

Gingajoy: Nasty assed shit for sure. Just puts a different spin on things for me.

On a totally joyful basis, good luck with the rest of your pregnancy. Your due date is right around both of my kids' birthdays.

Doug: Me too Doug. It's the "I'm not sure of what" part that worries me the most.

Diesel said...

Geez, and I was just thinking that it would be cool to post an adorable pic of my kids on my blog for Christmas this year. Scratch THAT idea.

People can steal my pic and put a Hitler mustache on me or whatever, but they better not mess with my kids. Grrrr.....

G said...

Diesel, I am with you on that one. Maybe we should form an angry mob with torches. One of my favorite lines from The Wallace&Grommit movie - "Mob supplies here, get yer angry mob supplies!"

I had heretofore posted pics on occassion. Not liking the idea so much now.

Anonymous said...

wow, G. This is alarming since you know how many pics of my kids I have on my blog.

DaBich said...

It's sad, but there's always some sicko who has to ruin a good thing. That's the way of the human race.

G said...

Pavel: I know. And I am so glad to see pictures of them. It's hard, I guess we just proceed with caution ay?

DB: Sad but true indeed.

Kyahgirl said...

Hi g, this is a complex issue. As you know, I have kids and I have posted pics of them periodically on my blog.
I had my own inner wranglings with this issue and, in the beginning, didn't post any pictures.

I could go on a length but will summarize it by saying;
-there are evil people in the world.
-I can not ever hope to protect my children by pretending it does not exist.
-education, common sense, and awareness are the keys to safety and security
and life is too short to live in fear.

I have to run so will have to finish my thought later!
xoxo

ann said...

oh my goodness... I post pics of my kids, well they're adults, and my babies too... this is very very worrying and very very frightening. I just can't believe it.

g.... thanks for the lovely comments on my bog... you are so sweet, thanks again

lotsa luv ann xxxxx

Kyahgirl said...

I sound like a bit of a righteous prig in that last comment!

I've found that sharing my life honestly through my blog has brought many beautiful people into my life. I don't think I've put myself or my family in any more danger by posting the occasional picture than they would be by going out in the world and doing life.


Still, its really upsetting to get a glimpse of how awful people can be. I feel bad for Sweeney because I can just imagine how sick you'd feel if someone did something hurtful to your child. Even if your child was never aware of it, the damage is done to the parents. Very sad.

G said...

Kyah I and II :) I believe when discussing our children, we are allowed to come off as righteous prigs (only then do we get a pass). No, believe me I know what you're saying and I waiver on this as well.

But as you pointed out, it only takes once and just how sickening it is. Jerks!

Ann: No end to the creeps of the world. Happy Blogaversary again and I love meeting your family through the pictures. It's a bitter pill this sort of cowardice casts on blogging.

You are so welcome and deserving of them.