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A brouhaha broke out on Instagram recently over a picture of a 3-year-old eating ice cream while taking a bath. The issue was not about eating ice cream in the bath tub — truthfully I think the concept is brilliant — but instead, everyone freaked out about the blogger publicly posting a full frontal nude photo of her child for the viewing pleasure of her 25,plus followers. I have many pics like this! Plenty of other parents have crossed the line of naked-child overshare. As I read through the comments, I was immediately thrown back to an incident from my own childhood. It was fun way to pass a rainy afternoon, that is, until I stumbled across a few photos that caused me to flip my pre-adolescent lid. My immediate reaction was to hide every last one of the photos. As innocent as the pictures were, in my pre-pubescent mind, no one — not even my parents — had a right to possess pictures of me with no clothes on. My body was mine and at that point in my life, I wanted to keep my body private. Did I have some body issues I needed to work through at that point in my life?
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That has been much ado lately about child pornography — and the firestorm against this abominable practice is well deserved. There is very little that can offend the minds of most people as quickly and thoroughly as the prospect of children being sexually exploited by adults. Our instinct to protect our children, our nieces and nephews, or grandchildren, our cousins, often come pouring out with righteous purpose when we hear of yet another pervert who has been arrested for possessing child pornography. I have written about the sad prevalence of children being sexually exploited on more than one occasion myself, because the topic is quite worthy of outrage.
This resource sheet provides information about safety and good practice when images of children and young people are displayed online. It outlines the legal obligations for Internet users who post images of children and young people on the Internet, and some of the emerging issues associated with the displaying of online images by children and young people. Guidance is also provided for supporting children and young people to be safe online. Throughout this paper, a child or young person refers to a person under the age of 18 years. The Internet has become a popular communication tool for children and young people, as well as adults, businesses and organisations. There are a range of reasons why people or organisations might wish to publish images of people online, including for recording, documenting and advertising or for promoting an organisation's activities and experiences. Organisations involved with children and young people, such as sporting and performing arts groups, often include photos or visual recordings of children and young people on their websites to promote their activities or services. Many children and young people also share images of themselves and their friends on social networking websites such as Facebook, and on their own blogs and web pages.