EntertainmentTV ListingsTheNow


What parents should know before posting their kids photos to Facebook and Instagram

Posted at 4:00 PM, Jun 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-02 17:34:31-04

The average parent shares 973 photos of their children before the age of 5. That's about 195 each year, and parents post more as kids age. An average of 208 every year.

New research from the online safety site The Parent Zone says 17 percent of parents ignore Facebook privacy settings, and 46 percent have only checked once or twice.

"She's usually okay with what I share," says Mary Berwyn who likes to post pictures of her daughter on Facebook. However, her 7-year-old says she doesn't like them posted.

"Because some of pictures are embarrassing, really embarrassing," said Berwyn's daughter Lucy.

Sharenting--or when parents overshare their children's lives online--can be problematic.


70 percent of moms and dads upload photos using their smartphones, and more than half weren't aware location settings could link a snapshot with GPS information.

"This generation of parents are the guinea pigs," said Sarah Clark, associate director of the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.

In most cases, parents do not have rights to pictures uploaded to social media, but neither do the children. Users unwittingly give up compete ownership of photos when they agree to a site's terms and conditions. 

"There have been some notable cases where people posted photos of their kids on Facebook, and the photos were later used in advertisements and brochures, without any request or permission from the parents, because that's perfectly legal," said Clark.

While most parents intentions for sharing are good, no one wants family photos ending up in wrong hands.

"Mostly with friends and family across the country and the world," said Berwyn.

Clark recommends parents get a second opinion before posting photos.