Pinterest and Kids, A Cautionary Tale

Every so often I get obsessed with my blog stats. I track which posts are the most popular, what Google searches lead people to me, and what sites are linking to me. It’s fun for a couple of weeks and then I get distracted by something else.

One of the most popular Google searches that leads to my blog is “Boy Scout uniform”. The picture associated with that search is of Boo, grinning at the camera on the night he bridged over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts.

It’s always bugged me just a little bit. I don’t know why. Maybe because it was more of a portrait type picture, rather than an action shot. Honestly, I’ve always struggled over the kinds of pictures to post of my children. I’ll go for long periods of time without posting pictures at all, but that gets boring. Then I’ll just post pictures in profile, or somehow not showing their whole face. But that gets tricky and involves a lot of staging pictures. Eventually I just go back to posting whatever picture suits my posts the best.

A couple of days ago, I discovered that someone had pinned that picture of Boo, the one of him in his Cub Scout uniform, on to Pinterest. That just did not sit right with me. I can’t even put into words why. In my head, someone searching for a picture of a BSA uniform would realize that this picture isn’t really what they were looking for, so they would move on. But seeing it on Pinterest, that’s more of a deliberate action. More “I want to remember this picture and refer back to it as often as I want”. Plus there is the social aspect of Pinterest, the sharing with your followers and the repinning of things over and over. Somehow, pinning a mom’s snapshot of her child just wasn’t what I wanted.

I left a comment under the picture, asking the person to remove it. After a day and a half it was still there, so I invoked my copyright and used the official form to have Pinterest remove it. They did so within just a few hours! I also deleted the picture from my blog.

So now I have to give quite a bit more thought to the kinds of pictures I put on my blog. This was never intended to be a family update kind of blog. It was always a way for me to tell my stories, as if I was sitting over coffee or knitting with you. Most of my stories are about my childrend and pictures enhance the story telling. But now I’ve had a wake-up call that others may use my pictures any way they want.

If you have a blog, do you post pictures of your kids? Of their faces, or in profile or somehow concealing their faces? How would you feel if you discovered your child’s picture on Pinterest?

More Mac and Cheese, please!


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  • Pictures of my kids, or me for that matter, are obviously missing from my blog. I was never comfortable with it. People do all kinds of things with pictures they found online. One mom wrote about having a family picture used in an ad without her permission! I would not be comfortable with pictures of my kids on Pinterest. They don’t even have Facebook accounts because they know if they did it would be the end of any privacy we have left this day in age. Anything we put online can live forever because people can save it and post it again even if we’ve deleted it. I do think there’s a way you can stop people from pinning from your blog, but then they wouldn’t be able to pin to any of your posts if you’re interested in that. You could also put a Pinterest policy in your sidebar.
    Sandy recently posted..PoemsMy Profile

    • Sandy – I wish there was a way to prevent only certain pictures from being pinned. It is a decision to make – trying to keep current with social media while still protecting your privacy.

  • Several years ago someone used one of my etsy pics of my daughter to create a listing for their shop. She was selling shop banners. The seller crafted a banner by using my pics, listed it, then asked my permission thinking I’d be impressed. Of course I was kind of shocked. She did honor my request when I asked her to remove it. Not long after that I took steps to separate my blog from the world, by starting one for knitting with pics that would be okay for the world, and I privatized my main blog. Hardly anyone reads it now, but it’s forced me to try harder to make friends with the locals instead. I’ve also quit FB and avoid social media now for privacy and safety concerns.

  • Kind of sad that we have to do this, though. I love all the sharing that takes place online, getting us out of our little corner of things. I know I would miss it if it were gone. I, too, need to make the effort for more IRL friends.
    Sandy recently posted..PoemsMy Profile

    • Patty – that is how I feel about blogs, too. I do prefer the ones with pictures, though if the writing is good, then it doesn’t necessarily need pictures. I find that it is tough to live in the moment, getting good pictures that you want for your own family and then also trying to get a good picture for the blog that protects your privacy.
      Lorri recently posted..Pinterest and Kids, A Cautionary TaleMy Profile

  • It’s not the same, but someone pinned a picture from my blog of my great Aunt Vivian’s tombstone to a board called Favorite Places and Spaces. How weird is that?

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