A child protection charity in the UK is urging parents to ask their children for permission before uploading photos and videos of them on social media. This follows a study by Ofcom, a communications watchdog, revealing that parents are divided on whether it is right to post photos of their children online. The practice of parents uploading photos and videos of their kids is termed "sharenting". This is a combination of the words "share" and "parenting". Ofcom said the biggest reason for parents not sharing photos of their kids is to protect the privacy of under-18s. The NSPCC said: "Each time a photo or video is uploaded, it creates a digital footprint of a child which can follow them into adult life."
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The website theatlantic.com highlighted how prevalent sharenting is in the USA. It said: "In the United States, 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." The website said there is a conflict between a parent's pride in their children and his or her desire to share photos of them, and the potential dangers of sharing photos of their kids. Parents often include personal information about their children along with the photos they upload. This could put kids at risk of identity theft and digital kidnapping. There is also the danger of parents publishing real-time information about their children's whereabouts.