Q. How can I prevent people from posting pictures of me and my baby to social media?
A. What’s tough about your situation is that it’s almost impossible not to appear in other people’s photos, and once you do, you have very little control over what they do with those photos. On the other hand, you have every right not to want to see pictures of you or your baby plastered all over the internet.
Here’s what we recommend:
- If someone you know asks to take a picture of you and your baby, you can politely decline: “Oh, I’d rather not right now. Thanks anyway!” If they ask why, tell the truth: “I’m not comfortable with pictures of us being posted online, so I’m just not posing for that many photos with the baby right now.”
- Let’s say the person asking to take your photo insists that they won’t post it online. It’s completely, 100% up to you whether to pose for the photo. If you trust this person and they say they won’t post it online, no big deal. Go ahead and sit for the photo, but hold them to their commitment not to post it.
- So what if someone does post a photo of you and/or your baby online after you’ve asked them not to? Let’s just assume they forgot. Maybe they got a cute photo of you and the baby at a family gathering where they took a ton of pictures, and they uploaded the whole batch to Facebook. Send that person a private message asking them to remove the photo at their earliest possible convenience (and continue to remind them until they do).
- As for strangers’ candid photos, unfortunately, there’s very little you can do. Cell phone cameras are so widely used in all settings, it’s probably impossible not to appear in other people’s photos at random. And some of those photos will certainly get posted on the internet. However, you can take comfort in the fact that there’s a good deal of anonymity in appearing in a stranger’s photo. You’re not going to be prominently featured and to everyone they share the photo with, you’re just some random lady with a baby in the background. Your only other option is to duck and take cover each time someone raises up their phone to take a photo: probably unreasonable when you’re holding a baby :)