March 28, 2023

Children’s “image rights” are being massively violated on social media, French authorities and non-governmental organizations have warned.

Examples include the posting of offensive scenes meant to make users laugh, and the fact that net celebrities are not shy about posting pictures of their family life; At the same time, some parents post photos of their children in their accounts, considering them normal.

Among the baby-related trends that have gone viral on TikTok is the “cheese challenge,” which consists of throwing a piece of melted cheese on a child’s face and videotaping their reactions. As a result of this step, the children seem surprised; Some of them are crying or trying to tear a piece of cheese from their faces, amid the laughter of their parents, which is heard in the video.

Some Internet users prefer to document their family life; They include a mother with 1.2 million followers who films her kids doing tasks to get money or encourages her 10-year-old daughter to pretend to smoke to surprise her little brother.

“There are parents who make thousands of euros a month by throwing mashed potatoes on their children’s heads,” Thomas Romer, head of the Observatory for Parenting and Digital Education (Open), said of the abuse.

All of the above is not an offense for social media activists who only seek fame, as recently a prank called “Children’s Police” circulated on social media, represented by the broadcast of a recording of a fake police officer saying, “Your child is not following your actions.” instructions? We’ll put him in jail. We’re going” to make the child appear scared or crying in the video.

sexual exploitation

In addition to the abuse children are subjected to on social media and the Internet, the excessive posting of images or videos that are considered vulgar or “innocent” and remain online for years can lead to serious violations of children’s image rights, as the associations warn.

Thomas Romer affirmed that “spreading photos of a teenager on the Internet undermines his self-confidence, as it can expose him to bullying and harm his relationship with his parents.”

A 2019 Microsoft study across 25 countries found that four out of ten teens have a problem with their parents showing them messages on social media.

Even if the images are ordinary and “innocent”, they can be used in child sexual exploitation networks. Sudikh said: “50 percent of the images posted on child sexual exploitation sites are mostly posted through parents’ social media accounts.” This is of particular concern to pedophiles.”

Suchiata Sim, president of the Chameleon Association, which fights against child sexual exploitation, recorded that “photos taken during a family vacation or showing girls in tutu skirts arouse the interest of criminals who do not hesitate to share and use them, and seek , thanks to publish data about children in order to contact this child “or his parents.”

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