Why I Don't Share Baby Pictures On Facebook & Twitter

Earlier this year my wife and I had a baby girl. She’s the sweetest and cutest baby I’ve ever seen and a very big part of me wants to tell everyone about her and post pictures to Facebook and Twitter. But we’ve restrained ourselves from spamming the world. We believe there are ethical considerations at stake.

Most people easily agree that it’s a bad idea to give a 7 month old baby a tattoo. Tattoos are usually are core part of someone’s identity. They tell a life’s story, and the parents don’t have the right to decide how the baby should express herself. When she decides she hates it, it’s a painful and error prone process to remove the tattoo.

Pictures on the Internet are similar. You can delete a picture from Facebook, but there’s no guarantee that Facebook actually deleted it (they don’t). Even if it was deleted, someone could have downloaded it or screenshot it (nod to Snapchat); the Internet archives exist for this purpose. Furthermore, we know that our government captures this sort of data on us, so even if Facebook deleted it, a future rogue government may still be able to use it for their own nefarious purposes. I also need to protect my daughter from future bad people.

This is the digital age we live in. These problems won’t get technological solutions, so as parents we have to make decisions to protect the freedom and will of our children, even when it seems so harmless. What other subtle ethical issues do we face?