A mother in Alabama was stunned and outraged to discover photos of her 16-month-old daughter had been stolen on Facebook and turned into terrible memes. The images outright made fun of the small child’s appearance, or suggested that she was either mentally handicapped or sick with cancer.
“I cried,” the mother said. “That’s all I could do. I was very upset about it, I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I went back and changed all of my settings, and now no one can access my photos unless they’re on my friends group.”
When most people think about their account getting hacked, they picture someone taking control of their profile or spamming their friends. However, many users don’t consider the possible ramifications of simply leaving their Facebook profile open to the public. That’s why German police warned parents this week that they should be careful about posting pictures of their children on social media.
A German child protection charity issued an ominous warning about, of all things, potential photo doctoring, saying: “All parents should feel free to enjoy taking photos of their children and sharing them with friends and family. However, we should all be careful when posting photos online. We know that sex offenders are able to doctor innocent family photos of children, and developments in photo editing software have made this easier.”
Like with anything else online, it’s a good idea to be careful what information about your children you share—and even more importantly, who you share it with.