Embarrassed woman sues parents for posting naked baby photos on Facebook
Facebook photo-loving parents might want to think twice before they put up that “cute” photo of their toddler on the potty. Those images can come back to bite in the form of a nasty lawsuit, as one woman is suing her parents for posting embarrassing Facebook childhood photos, once again showing how kids will betray their parents. The 18-year-old Austrian woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous, says her parents have been posting embarrassing photos of her for their 700 Facebook friends since 2009.
After seeing photos of herself sitting on the toilet and lying naked in her crib, she decided to ask her father to remove the photos from Facebook. He said he took the photos and has the rights to publish them, and then refused to remove them from his account. She felt like her requests weren’t taken seriously, so she decided to take action and show she means business. The woman has lawyered up to get 500 images removed because she says they violate her right to a personal life. It’s the first time for a case like this one in Austria and it will certainly send out a warning message to parents who can’t resist sharing every moment of their kids’ lives on social media.
This case brings up a lot of interesting points. First, the dad is a mega jerk. If his daughter came to him and let him know the photos were making her feel embarrassed, then why wouldn’t he just take them down? What is he really gaining by posting them on Facebook against her wishes? He could always do it the old-fashioned way and just stick them in a family photo album. It brings up a serious issue of consent. When the photos were actually taken, she couldn’t do much about it, especially as a baby/toddler. But, now as an adult, she has the right to control what images of her are on the internet. In a world where anything can go viral, an unwanted photo online could lead to a lifetime of heartache.
Second, there should be some kind of “too far” limit with photos of kids. Yes, I have posted pics of my kids on Twitter just like most people. But, for me, posting a photo of them naked or on the toilet is not cool. I really don’t see a point in posting those pictures for my Facebook friends to see and possibly share with their 1,250 friends whom I don’t know. I don’t want to put anything out there to make my daughters feel uncomfortable or horrified, because they are people with feelings — and I care about their feelings.
And now, I don’t want them to sue me 10 years from now and take away all my wine money if I forget to take those pictures down.
Third, what other types of Facebook-related lawsuits will start to pop up after this case? Will I be able to sue a Facebook friend who tagged me in an ugly-ass middle school photo? Because that actually caused me some pain and suffering when I looked on Facebook and saw all the likes. Or, maybe I can sue for all the accidental photobombs I have committed. Nothing worse than seeing yourself look like a weirdo in the back of an otherwise nice photo.
The moral of the story – don’t try to embarrass your kid on Facebook. Otherwise, they might embarrass your ass in court.