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Instagram Post to Pornography

Instagram Post to Pornography

​Instagram is a popular social media platform for parents but there is also a dangerous side. A very dangerous side. Instagram stores your pictures but who do those pictures really belong to and what can happen if they fall in the wrong hands?

No Need to Ask Permission

Recently controversial artist and photographer Richard Prince appropriated photos from Instagram accounts. He took Instagram photos, placed them on a canvas and displayed them as art without the permission of the individuals who originally posted the images. One of these “works of art” received a bid for $90K. Some may argue there may be a copyright infringement issue but Mr. Prince modifies the images just enough that they become his own work. In this case he changed the words below the images.

In an effort to retaliate against him some people have tried to sue him with minimal success. After some alterations it becomes his work of art although one would argue how much change should be required before it is considered a new piece of art. One of Mr. Prince’s victims chose to retaliate in a different way. Selena Mooney (aka Suicide Girls) chose to take the image that Mr. Prince stole and decided to sell the same image for much, much less. The image sold initially for $90K and Miss Mooney is selling the exact same image and artwork for $90. The money earned from this will be donated to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is a non-profit organization that seeks to defend civil liberties in the digital world.

Here is the post by Selena Mooney:

The real issue is that your photos are not protected and are no longer your property once they are uploaded. People can pretty much do whatever they want to your images.

My child’s picture is on a pornography website

Utah mother, Brittany Champagne was on Instagram earlier this month and found a picture of her 8 year-old daughter on someone else’s profile. She investigated it further and the account claimed to be from an 11 year-old bi-sexual cheerleader. She continued to investigate and found more pictures of her and her other children also placed on various websites. View her story here.

What is important to note is that this mother did nothing wrong. She shared pictures online much like most parents do. My thoughts go out to her. This could happen to anyone.

Technology has made it easy to share and it has also made it easy for others to steal. Be proactive. Learn how each social media platform works and their privacy settings. Understand who can see or share what you post on each platform.

If you have posted a million pictures and are curious if they are floating around on the internet you can do some investigating on your own. Google offers a reverse image search. You can input a picture and it will search the web for that picture or pictures similar to it. Click HERE to access reverse image search.

What Can You Do

My role as a father is to protect my daughter in every way possible. That includes protecting her online until she is old enough to navigate through this world on her own. I always ask myself at least 3 simple questions before posting an image online:

  1. Am I willing to accept the risk that others will use this picture without my permission?
  2. Do I have any reservations or doubts about posting this? If so, don’t post.
  3. Am I willing to have this picture follow my child for the rest of their life?

We can’t stop all the bad things from happening online but we can be aware and make safer choices to protect our children.

This has also allowed me to use the skill of Effective Communication as a way to talk to her about internet safety and how how to make appropriate decisions. You can also use the skill of Preventive Teaching to help you discuss with your child what are appropriate and inappropriate things to post.

Just remember next time you are ready to post a picture on social media to ask yourself these questions. It could save you and your child.

How do you manage your online profiles? Share your story with us.


Siope is a Mental Health Therapist who has been working with children and families for over 13 years. Siope coordinates efforts in support of mental health treatment options for underserved populations. He is a father and enjoys spending time with his family. Siope is a member of the Smarter Parenting Team.