What Are the Rules for Posting Kids' Pictures on Facebook or the Internet?

Although Facebook and the Internet in general can be an enjoyable way to keep up with family and friends, keep specific privacy issues in mind as you share information on various websites. If you wish to post kids’ pictures on Facebook or elsewhere, learn privacy guidelines first before sharing. Following these rules can be especially important if the kids in the photos are not your own.

Potential Risks

It is impossible to eliminate all risks of posting a child’s photo on Facebook or other websites, according to NetSmartz411, a program of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Although you might exert more control over who sees a photo by adjusting Facebook privacy settings carefully, just the placement of a photograph on the Internet puts it in a position of risk. Once a photograph hits the Internet, you can’t know for sure who sees it, copies it and passes it on to others. For example, if one person in your group of Facebook “friends” copies a photo to her shared computer and someone else with access to the computer passes the photo to someone else, the photo may pass into unknown hands.

Photos of Others

General etiquette rules for Facebook and the Internet include not posting photos of other people unless you have their consent, according to information published on the Oklahoma State University Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources website. Never post a photo that includes someone else’s children unless you have the express consent of the parents. Parents must have the opportunity to decide whether they want to risk posting their child’s photo on the Internet.

Facebook’s Policy

When you upload a photograph to Facebook, you give Facebook permission to use it, subject to your privacy and application settings, according to Facebook terms. By limiting access to your photos and albums, you can make it possible for only you, select people or your entire friends list to view the images. Uploading kids’ pictures to Facebook, under this policy, might place the photos into public domain if your privacy settings are not set to limit access.

Photos Not to Post

Even when posting images of your own children, it’s wise to follow safety guidelines for appropriate photos. Never share photos that could have a sexual connotation, including bath time, swimsuit or diaper photographs. Although these images may seem cute and harmless to you, other people may have a vastly different perspective, according to a U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services publication. People interested in child pornography often troll the Internet looking for “nudist” photos of children that are technically appropriate, meaning someone took the photograph in a harmless and innocent setting. People with these pornographic fetishes may collect these photos.