Thursday, January 31, 2013

Viral Child Shaming

This isn't the first child-shaming photo that's gone viral, and unfortunately, it probably won't be the last either.  Teresa Golden of Walker, LA decided that it would be a "creative, social, moral exercise" to force her 8-year-old son to stand near a roadway holding a sign saying "Shame on me for being a bully."  Not too surprisingly, someone driving by snapped a photo and uploaded it.

There are serious safety issues associated with allowing a child to become an online spectacle.  Once an image is out there, the parents have no control over it.  If it shows up in a context they don't like, they have little recourse.  It's also easy to alter photos.  A prankster could Photoshop something gross or inflammatory onto the sign, and then circulate that.  If that happened, there wouldn't be much the parents could do about it.