When my wife, the Inland Empress, started posting photos of son Seth on our respective weblogs, I suggested that she lock down the photos and mark each one with a copyright. I asked for the extra protection because it is so easy to steal photos posted on the Internet. Still, if someone wanted to lift the shots, I couldn’t really stop them.
Members of a varsity cheerleading squad from Thomas S. Wootton High School in Rockville, Maryland, learned this the hard way. Playful photos of the girls – no I haven’t seen them – that were posted on Webshots.com are now featured on a porn site that is claiming the girls are 18, reports The Washington Post.
Even though the teenagers are clothed in the provocative pictures and are essentially just goofing around, according the high school principal Michael J. Doran, the cheerleading squad may be banned from an annual competition.
Other students at the school are now calling the girls “sluts.” It makes the dad in me want to go over to the high school and knock in a few skulls. These girls didn’t do anything wrong, they were just naïve about the way the web works.
And it works both way. In the case of Six Navy SEALS, an Associated Press reporter copied and published photos of possible detainee abuse in Iraq. The military is still investigating whether the photos constitute abuse, reports The San Diego Union-Tribune.
In the end though, it’s up to parents to be very careful about what photos they post online, and to teach their kids how dangerous the web can become. It would be wise to consider a service that provides password protection, which can then be handed out to family and friends, but make sure the security is enabled.
Additional: There are other reasons to consider a service for archiving photos, which you can read about in my greatly chopped-down-for-space photo-storage story that ran in the Los Angeles Times late last year.