Exploring the Growing Trend

Exploring the Growing Trend: When Mark Zuckerberg shared a photo on Instagram of his family on July 4, two things stuck out: the billionaire CEO wore a striped souvenir cowboy hat, and the faces of his children were replaced with happy face emojis. While this seemingly innocent act sparked a wave of criticism, it also brought to light a broader trend among some social media users, particularly high-profile individuals, who choose to be cautious when sharing identifiable pictures of their children online.

The Trend of Protecting Children’s Privacy

Celebrities like Kristen Bell, Gigi Hadid, Chris Pratt, and Orlando Bloom have long been blurring images or using emojis to help protect their kids’ privacy on social media. Mark Zuckerberg himself had previously posted pictures showing only the back of his daughters’ heads or their side profiles, avoiding full face reveals.

The Risks of Sharing Children’s Pictures

Parents and experts have expressed concerns about exposing children to potential identity theft and the intrusive nature of facial recognition technology. Additionally, the digital footprint created by childhood photos can follow individuals into adulthood, potentially impacting their future.

Empowering Children to Control Their Narrative

Leah Plunkett, author of “Sharenthood” and associate dean of learning experience and innovation (LXI) at Harvard Law School, believes that blocking a child’s face is a symbolic act that empowers them to have control over their own narrative. By constantly posting about our children, we may unintentionally chip away at their ability to shape their own stories and identities.

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The Role of Artificial Intelligence

While Zuckerberg chose not to obscure the face of his infant daughter, advancements in artificial intelligence technology can track changes in a person’s face over time, potentially connecting a baby’s image to their older self. This highlights the need for social media companies to play a more active role in safeguarding children’s privacy by implementing features that automatically blur children’s faces or restrict the use of their pictures for marketing or advertising purposes.

The Responsibility of Parents and Trusted Adults

Ultimately, the responsibility lies with parents and other trusted adults to protect children’s privacy. It’s not just about parents refraining from sharing photos and videos of their kids online; grandparents, coaches, teachers, and other trusted individuals should also be mindful of respecting children’s privacy, safety, and their ability to shape their own stories.

Conclusion of Exploring the Growing Trend

In conclusion, the decision to conceal children’s faces on social media is a growing trend, driven by concerns over privacy and the potential risks associated with sharing personal information online. By adopting a more cautious approach to sharing children’s pictures, we can empower them to control their own narratives while safeguarding their privacy and future prospects.

 

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