Posted by: Kate | January 29, 2008


I just uploaded a batch of photos from recent outings, to go along with my post on the New England Mamas site.  I wrote about my efforts to get the kids out of the house while Willem finished his comprehensive exams, because that offered the best odds of him getting work done without anyone killing anyone else on my property.

Mere seconds after the upload, I got a “new contact” sort of notification from I don’t use the social networking aspect of flickr much; I try to remember to check for comments every few weeks or so and I try to remember to check out my friends’ photos, but by and large it’s just a place for me to warehouse and link to my own photos.

The contact was a series of numbers and letters, nothing that rang a bell, so I clicked to visit the profile page. I recognized no one on the page, and this fine, upstanding individual belonged to only one “group” on the site, with a name along the lines of “good sex with small kids is fun.”

Really? Seriously?


Yes, I blocked and reported him. He’s small and worthless, in my eye, and I hope he trips and lands face-first in a large pile of old and diarrheic dog waste in the near future. But what particularly bothers me about this is that there were perhaps eight other people listed on his Contacts page, who apparently had just clicked the Sure, I’ll be anyone’s friend! link without checking first.

I get it, that posting photos online means that they’re public, forever, and can be used by pedophiles and advertisers alike. That’s a risk that I recognize and live with. But somehow the passive naïveté of people who don’t bother checking up on the people that appear in their Contacts list, that stays with me. To me, it’s the difference between accepting the risk that someone will be watching my child walk home from school on a public street, while I watch her, too, and inviting a stranger into my house to sit with them on the couch.

Some risks are inevitable; others are not.



  1. I hate that aspect of public blogging –

    Another blog I read had a similar problem. Someone saw a picture of her 10 year old daughter on a “spanking” site – it was a picture she had posted on her blog. It was the only way they could have gotten it. She was horrified.

    When stuff like this happens I always question my decisions about putting my kids pics up.

  2. Today was new intern day, wasn’t it? Come on, give.

    As for pedophiles, you, I think know my position. To send them to their next life as quick as legally possible where perhaps, in the time between here and there a change may take place.

  3. That is horrifying. I often wonder if I should be putting pics of my kids out there, and this definitely gives me pause.

  4. Ewwwww, creepy. That makes me want to pull the two pics of The Girl that I’ve posted on my blog (after much internal wrangling). Granted she’s almost grown, but still. *shudder*

  5. That is horrifying hopefully law enforcement catches him/her and slaps them with as many penalties that can put them away forever and the poor children that encountered this person can pull their lives back together and live a “normal” life. I just shudder at the thought of that and know that my decision to not put certain pics on line was for good cause but the few I did I hope NEVER fall into the wrong hands, Steve would FLIP OUT and hunt them down himself probably pushing them face first onto a bed of sharp nails.

  6. Agreed, it’s creepy, but to me the creepiness is within that individual – not in my photos or my kids. Taking down all my photos and hiding my children would feel, to me, like I was giving over to the grossness of one person. Instead, I’m careful in what I do post, and accept that anything – *anything* can become perverted and twisted in certain minds, and there’s nothing I can do to control that.

  7. Kate I agree, if we succumb to not putting photos on our sites, we’re giving in to these animals. I usually put photos of my young nieces and nephews to private and just allow friends and family to view which seems pretty safe to date. It’s a shame we have to be selective on what’s really a good medium for storing albums.

    I find that trying to photograph people is difficult too. Everyone thinks you’re some kind of pervert when you’re just documenting life’s rich parade.

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