A child protection charity is advising parents to ask their children for permission before uploading images of them on social media. A communications watchdog in the UK said parents are divided on whether it is right to put photos of their children online. Parents uploading images of their kids is called "sharenting" – a mixture of the words "share" and "parenting". The biggest reason for parents not sharing their kids' photos is to protect the privacy of under-18s. The charity said every uploaded photo of a child creates a digital footprint, "which can follow them into adult life."
The website theatlantic.com reported that sharenting is common in the USA. It said: "The vast majority of 2-year-olds…already have an online presence. More than 80 per cent of babies younger than that are already on social media." There is a conflict between a parent's pride in their children and their wish to share photos of them, and the dangers of sharing photos of kids. Parents often include personal information about their children. This could put kids at risk of identity theft. There is also the danger of parents publishing real-time information about where their children are.