Raising the Bar on Publicly Shared Photos

by Jennifer Donovan

I love a good legal drama, but lately my husband and I have tried to cut out the amount of TV we watch (I have to read you know). The other reason that I’ve avoided watching any of the new hour-long dramas is that they push the envelope a bit for me, content-wise.

I had never seen the TNT original drama Raising the Bar, until I was sent an advance copy of an episode that’s going to run this Monday June 29 at 10pm ET/PT. It’s called “No Child’s Left Behind,” and it deals with a man who is arrested when an innocent photo he posted online of his son in the bathtub is picked up by an icky website. Check out a clip here of the lawyers discussing the issues behind the case:

TNT rightfully thought that this was an issue that Mom Bloggers (or anyone involved in social networking) might want to take some time to think about, so they sent out a few advance copies so that we could spread the word.

This is the first time I’ve seen this show, and I love it. I love that the show raised the issue in a way that caused me to think about my practices of sharing pictures (and other parenting issues for that matter) — without sensationalizing the whole issue. It was tasteful, and the aim did not appear to be to make every parent who chooses to use a blog or a social networking site to keep friends and family apprised of their families as they grow. When news (or should I say “news”) is so often used to exploit families or scare parents to death about the large number of things out of our control, it was refreshing to see a program using a fictitious case to simply raise the bar of awareness about this issue.

As I said, I hadn’t seen this show until I watched that episode a couple of weeks ago, but after seeing that one, I quickly caught up on the first two episodes of the season online, and watched the third one when it was on last week. (I’ve tried to watch TV episodes online before, but it’s been sort of frustrating. The TNT site loads them quickly with very limited commercials).

Whether you tune in regularly, I recommend that you watch TNT Monday June 29 at 10pm ET/PT (or set your TiVo or whatever you do to squeeze in a few shows that don’t involve singing cartoons or dancing problem-solvers).

Then come back here and let’s talk about it!

Written by 5 Minutes for Mom Contributing Editor Jennifer Donovan, who also manages 5 Minutes for Books and blogs at Snapshot



Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan has been a part of the 5 Minutes for Mom team since 2007. She writes product reviews, covers events, and manages the 5 Minutes for Books weekly column and website. She lives in Houston and blogs at Snapshot about life with her family.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sarah (GenMom) June 28, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Definitely worth tuning in. I’ll try to stay awake to tweet about it too! We’ll see.

Yes, this is Jo-Lynne’s friend! :) She really enjoyed that trip to Disney. We need a trip to Euro-Disney now!! LOL!

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2 Katrina June 28, 2009 at 6:38 pm

Sounds good. I’ll set my TiVo, since I can’t stay up that late these days. :)

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3 Melissa June 28, 2009 at 9:55 pm

I have tried to watch this show but I have a really hard time watching it being that I am a public defender and the show is just too close to what I deal with on a daily basis.

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4 Maddy June 29, 2009 at 12:16 am

Tivo indeed then!
Cheers

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5 Jessica M June 29, 2009 at 10:29 am

I’ll have to try to watch it online later this week since we don’t have cable.

When my son (now 2.5) was first born I uploaded some movies on youtube of him including some of him in the bath and his first diaper change -you couldn’t see *anything* in either of the pictures and I put them up for far away grandparents to see.

About a year later I was looking at the stats on my youtube movies and noticed that some of my movies had over 100,000 views. When I looked at it a bit closer every single movie that had been viewed in great volume was diaper or bath related – I can only presume it was sickos trying to find naked babies. It made me feel sick and I deleted all of the movies right away.

I was smart enough to never put any naked baby private parts online, but it was still disturbing to know people had looked at my youtube videos trying to find some.

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6 HomeGrownMommy June 29, 2009 at 11:00 pm

Unfortunately, it doesn’t even have to be tub shots of your kids. I had published a video of my kids at the park. My daughter was riding one of those horses on the really heavy duty spring, where the kids can rock it back and forth. One total sicko had the nerve, not to just think but to actually post a comment, something to the effect that he wished he could have been that horse. We were horrified! It’s hard to know what not to published – when someone is that whacky, it doesn’t seem to matter how you try to protect your kids.

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7 RefreshMom June 30, 2009 at 12:32 am

I’m looking forward to watching the show (it airs in 1/2 hour here). I was part of a birth board a few years ago where several of the moms had a discussion group for cloth diapering. They posted pics of their latest finds, etc. Someone found that several photos from the board had been lifted and were posted on a diaper fetish site. It is true that the photos don’t even have to have anything to do with clothes-less kids or any of the other things that trigger porn crawlers. I have only recently relaxed my standard of not posting photos of my kids on my blog or public boards at all (I still mostly use shots from the side or back so they aren’t easily identifiable). And I waffle on whether I should relax or not. Yes, it’s unfortunate that we even have to give it consideration, but the truth is that not wanting to let the sickos ‘win’ doesn’t mean they aren’t out there doing dispicable things with innocent photos.

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8 Stephanie June 30, 2009 at 3:28 pm

The show definitely looks interesting. This is an important conversation to be having. I’d love to hear Janice or Susan weigh in on the topic since they regularly post photos on their blog (as do I).

I linked over to the TNT website in hopes of watching an episode or two, but it appears that Windows is needed to play the clip. I’m a Mac user…

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9 Casual Friday Every Day June 30, 2009 at 10:41 pm

That sounds scary, actually! I wonder if water marking photo’s would keep that from happening?

Nell

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10 AmyG June 30, 2009 at 11:57 pm

I just finished watching the show. This is a subject that I’ve been thinking about lately, because there have been several blogs that I read on a daily basis that have posted shots of their children that show some form of nudity. Whether it’s a little girl in only a skirt, or a child that you can only see their back & bottom, it made me cringe. I posted a few pictures of my girls in their swim suits & now I’ll be going back to remove them. We don’t know who is looking at our blogs. I shut a blog down, once, when someone left a simple comment about how beautiful my then 6 yr old daughter was. When I looked a the link to this persons blog, it frightened me. For a long while, I didn’t post pictures again. I’m still guarded, but like I said, even simple pictures of kids in swim suits can be taken the wrong way. I’ve been watermarking my photos for a long time. Making sure that the watermark is not just in the corner of the photo where it can be cropped out, but across my child where it will be hard to hide. It might take away from the photo, but I’ll know it’s mine, if someone takes it.

It’s sad that people have to ruin something so simple as sharing a simple picture with family and friends.

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