Friday, April 4

If you're brave enough to give a little, you get a little back

It's important to consider the privacy of others - particularly children - when posting photos to the interweb.

Early in the history of Flickr I got a little freaked out when a friend's photos of her kid were snagged by an unknown woman who built a scary blog using the photos and her own stories to make like the kids were hers and not my friend's. Scary stalker stuff.

A while later, a naked photo of my son on Flickr received some unwelcome attention. Ick. But the sensible solution was not to post naked pictures of my kid - or anyone else's. Problem solved.

You'd think anyone managing a young sports star these days would either ban or closely moderate their entire participation in online social networking, but this week we saw controversial photos from members of the Australian Olympic swim team that had been snagged from their Facebook profile. Can't blame the journalists: need a photo to accompany a story, the choices are (a) pay $10,000 to a paparazzi and wait 24hrs to receive it, or (b) look up their Facebook profile and snag the photos they've added, free of charge? No brainer.

facebook swimmers.jpg

I could have over-reacted to the Flickr experience and never posted another photo of my son to the interweb, but then my gypsy family would never get to see their cousin/nephew/grandson at all. I could password-protected everything, but then family would never remember the password and never get around to asking me for it.

If I'd done either, I never would have seen this cool line art done by someone on Flickr, based on a photo I'd taken of my son:

iBoy on Flickr - Photo Sharing!.jpg

Which was based on this photo of him grooving on his iPod while we were camping last year:

DSC02168.JPG on Flickr - Photo Sharing!.jpg

On the interweb, I think it's worth giving a little in order to get something back, and this is a great example.

For that reason, I make my photos on Flickr available on a Creative Commons "attribution-non-commercial" licence, meaning you can use them for anything non-commercial as long as you attribute them to me with a link. I'd be stoked if anyone else created good art out of something I just opened a shutter on for a fraction of a second.

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