The Motive For More & More Parents Opting To Cover Their Kids’ Faces On Social Media

Jul 21, 2021 by apost team

Social media has become an incredibly important part of most people's lives; from giving a platform to express themselves in unique ways to becoming a life-changing form of communication for people across the world, social media has transformed the face of the world as we know it. One of the important things about social media is that we are learning new things every day, and the rules that governed social media usage a decade ago are no longer the same today. 

Sharing our happiest moments with our friends is the reason social media has become such an integral cog in today's society. Naturally, parents are quick to share their children's achievements and family moments with their friends. While in the past this was not a necessarily problematic thing, this is quickly changing now. More and more parents are choosing to cover their children's faces, and this is for good reason. 

The issue of privacy on the internet and social media has become a huge point of debate and worry, especially because personal data about people is so profitable for many industries. Moreover, many parents are concerned with their children's autonomy, which they believe should command how photos of their children are circulated. There is also some inherent danger when it comes to the dark web, as there have been reports of children's faces being used without permission. 

Many celebrities have been choosing to hide their children's faces because they have such a large following and want to ensure that their child's privacy comes before anything else. 

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Refinery29 reported that some celebrities who have continuously covered their children's faces on social media include Chris Pratt, Kristen Bell, Jenna Dewan and Orlando Bloom among a myriad of others. Leah Plunkett, an expert in digital privacy law, told the outlet that hiding faces does provide some privacy benefits, and some points have to be wondered about. "The first is what other people — as in human beings and not algorithms or robots — can learn from the picture," she said. "The second is what data can be extracted, used, and repurposed by various forms of machine learning or artificial intelligence, et cetera." 

Plunkett also added that it is just safer to not upload pictures of your kids to social media, but understand that there is a need to share happy moments as well.  

"I think the motivation is to try to engage in a level of 'sharenting' that is focused on you sharing about your life, of which children are a huge part for most parents, certainly for me, without giving away information about your children that, in some sense, is not yours to give," Plunkett explains. "It's like, here's what's going on in my life of which my children are a big part, but literally and metaphorically, I'm not going to give you a window into their lives."

Refinery29 argues that though most parents may know that it is not in the best interest to upload photos with an emoji over their kids' faces and to instead not upload photos at all, this realization is not enough. After all, social media gives us the opportunity to curate our own image, and for parents, their children are a part of their overall image. 

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Gigi Hadid is one of the celebrities today who has been vocal about wanting to maintain her child's privacy in the long run. PEOPLE reported that Hadid, who has daughter Khai with her partner Zayn Mailk, published a lengthy post on Instagram where she asked "paparazzi, press and beloved fan accounts" to "blur" her child's face if they choose to upload it. 

Hadid praised her daughter for being a curious and inquisitive nine-month-old in her note, adding, "She doesn't understand why she's covered in the city, or what I've wanted to protect her from. I also want her to see the most amazing city in the world + the beautiful and diverse people that walk down the streets of NYC … that is, without the stress of the media circus that comes with parents who are public figures." 

Her message was clearly contained in this excerpt from her post, "Our wish is that she can choose how to share herself with the world when she comes of age, and that she can live as normal of a childhood as possible, without worrying about a public image that she has not chosen." Though most parents don't have the mammoth following that many celebrities have, this is a sentiment that people who choose to cover their child's faces have.

Glamour Magazine UK also reported on the fact that many predators use children's photos on the dark web as well as predatory accounts of social media without permission. This is becoming a frightening problem that also has parents thinking twice before they post any pics of minors. 

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Will you be practicing hiding your child's face with emojis in the future? What are your thoughts about online privacy? Tell us about them, and be sure to let others know about this if you learned something. 

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