Cat Coode: Technically Speaking


Why Teens Want YOUR Baby's Photos

The disturbing trend of #babyrp and how to search for your stolen photos online

by: Cat Coode
Why Teens Are Using Your Baby Pics Online |

There are some messed up trends on social media but when I read about this one I was pretty surprised. Teens are role playing as parents on social media by using stolen baby pictures and passing them off as their own kids under #babyrp or #babyroleplay. Though the concept is not new, it has started spreading and is now hitting the news.

Are you at risk of having your kids pictures stolen?

Any picture that is publicly available that can be taken. These would include:

  • Posts on public Instagram and Twitter accounts
  • Facebook Profile and Cover photos. I cannot stress this one enough, profile and cover photos are *always* public no matter what your settings
  • Any Facebook picture in an album that is not privacy protected
  • Pictures on blogs
  • Pictures submitted to public websites

Those pesky Terms and Conditions

You know that long piece of legalese with the "I agree" at the end that no one reads? The terms and conditions on a social network site are there for two reasons. The first is to keep the site safe. There are a series of rules that tell you not to abuse the service by posting things that are violent, or overtly sexual (including no nudity). The second set of terms focus on your safety and rights. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter say that you own the material you post and they cannot sell it. They also claim you need to have rights to publish the pictures you are posting. That means, by their terms, someone else cannot post your pictures without your permission. 

Where does this leave us? If someone posts a picture of your kid at a birthday party or a sporting event without your permission, you are shit out of luck. That person is posting *their* photo and therefore not breaking any rules according to the terms and conditions. It just sucks for you. However, if someone steals and reposts your photo then that breaches the terms so you have every right to contact the service and complain. They should then take it down and potentially close the account.

How to do an Image Search

It is actually very easy to search for your photos to make sure they are not online. Follow the simple instructions below.

*Caveat: This will only show public photos and not those someone may have in a private account or private photo album.

 How to search your images on Google

Staying Safe

We are in a generation of digital sharing. Every parent needs to make their own decisions about what they chose to share online and what they chose to keep private. Just consider that anything online is permanent, as well as potentially public and sellable.

 RELATED: The Weirdest Nail Trend You've Ever Heard Of