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Episode Name:

Sharenting- Risks and Ethical Implications


Ranjana Kushwaha – Policy Research Associate, her interest lies in social dimensions of the digital ecosystem.

Episode Summary:

Sharenting refers to the frequent use of social media by parents to share news, photos, and other content about their children. This practice raises ethical concerns and risks for the children involved. Parents often overlook the potential privacy and psychological impacts, as well as the exploitation of their children's images and information. Legislation, like the proposed bill in France, aims to protect children from image rights exploitation. Parents needs to be cautious when sharing personal details and maintain privacy settings to safeguard their children's digital footprints.


Host: Welcome to the "Unwiring Tech," this podcast is a platform where we understand global digital issues, and explore the 'why' behind each topic and incidents. I'm your host Ranjana, and Today, we'll explore the fascinating world of "Sharenting" and uncover the risks and ethical implications it entails.

Host: Adorable and cute baby photos, and a flood of personal details of children are shared daily on social media by none other than their proud parents. It's become a norm for parents to document every milestone of their child's life and share it with the world. But have we stopped to consider the consequences of this digital oversharing?

Host: Let's start by defining what "Sharenting" really means

Host: Sharenting, is the habitual use of social media to share news, images, and other content about one's children. It is made up of two words sharing and parenting. It's when moms and dads can't resist sharing every aspect of their little ones' lives online, posting everything from sonography reports to school achievements.

Host: But are parents aware of the risks involved in sharing their children's lives online? A survey conducted by McAfee in 2018 revealed some eye-opening insights. 76% of parents acknowledged that the images they posted could end up in the wrong hands, yet they continued to share them. Similarly, a staggering 98% of parents admitted that they had considered the potential embarrassment or consequences of their posts, but still proceeded to share. However, there's more to this story than meets the eye.

Host: The repercussions of sharenting go beyond privacy and psychological impacts. Kids who grow up with their lives constantly on display may feel violated and paranoid because they didn't choose this publicity. Details shared online, such as school uniforms or locations, provide opportunities for malicious individuals to exploit vulnerable children. A shocking report titled "Cross-Platform Dynamics of Self-Generated CSAM" by The Wall Street Journal and Stanford University shed light on the dark reality of social media platforms. It uncovered the disturbing presence of self-generated child sexual abuse material (SG-CSAM), with Instagram being the primary platform involved. Another issue is "digital kidnapping," a form of identity theft targeting children.

Host: Lawmakers in France have taken a stand against sharenting. France has become the first country to regulate sharenting through a proposed bill that targets influencer parents. The bill says that 50% of the photographs exchanged on child s***** exploitation material forums had initially been posted by parents on their social media accounts.The bill aims to protect children by allowing family judges to intervene in cases where image rights are being exploited. France's initiative has sparked a global conversation on the issue.

Host: While legislation is one way to address the problem, every parent can take basic safety measures when sharing information about their children online. Let's explore some of these measures together.

Host: First and foremost, think before you post. Review the content you're about to share and ensure you're not revealing personal details like addresses or school names. It's crucial to maintain privacy settings on social media like switching off geo-tagging.

The digital world is ever-evolving, and as responsible parents, we must adapt to the new rules of the game. Safeguarding our children's digital footprints has become an essential part of our role. It's not child's play, but it's our duty. Remember, every post carries a weighty responsibility

Host: Thank you for joining me on this episode of "Unwiring Tech" Stay tuned for more gripping tales from the ever-expanding digital universe. Until next time, keep your posts mindful, your privacy intact, and your digital adventures awe-inspiring!

With this I conclude today's episode.
Stay informed and stay safe

Additional Readings:
  1. Your children but their privacy: Kolkata CID warns parents of dangers of 'sharenting' | Kolkata News - Times of India (indiatimes.com)
  2. Opinion | The Problem With ‘Sharenting’ - The New York Times (nytimes.com)
  3. Too much information? More than 80% of children have an online presence by the age of two (theconversation.com)
  4. The pros and cons of 'sharenting' | Family | The Guardian


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