Social media privacy: Should kids have a say?

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Is it an invasion of your child’s privacy to take their picture and post it on social media? Sarita Schoenebeck, assistant professor at the School of Information, is an expert on how families use technology. She suggests that parents should respect their children and keep their feelings in mind before posting their pictures.

A survey of 331 parents and children found that most children didn’t mind when their parents posted positive content of them, such as them engaging in organized events and sports, rather than embarrassing naked baby photos. Schoenebeck also found that children are aware of their privacy and knew what should be considered off-limits.

While most parents had considered that they should ask their children permission before posting, children are twice as likely to report that their parents shouldn’t overshare by posting pictures online. Asking permission before posting a photo is a courtesy that could help mitigate other concerns parents might have with social media, from cyber-bullying to body image issues.

“Ask your kids’ permission, at least sometimes,” says Schoenebeck. “Pay attention to what they do and don’t like and respect that.”

Samantha DeRosia, ITS Communications
Author: Samantha DeRosia, ITS Communications

Samantha is an intern for the ITS Communications team. You can reach her at srderosi@umich.edu.