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Facebook Crime Privacy

German Police Warn Parents To Stop Posting Photos of Kids On Facebook (thestack.com) 143

An anonymous reader writes: A post on Facebook by German police advising parents not to post pictures of their children on the social media site has been shared more than 100,000 times and viewed by over seven million people. The Hagen Police left its warnings about paedophile interest with the suggestion that kids might not appreciate the early publicity after they have grown up a little.
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German Police Warn Parents To Stop Posting Photos of Kids On Facebook

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  • What if...? (Score:5, Funny)

    by skam240 ( 789197 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @10:21PM (#50732577)

    What if my children are ugly? Is it okay then?

  • by Nyder ( 754090 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @10:32PM (#50732635) Journal

    Those school pics you were forced to get every year? Ya, big pedophile ring right there. Forcing us to look nice for photos, so they could get off on it.

    What about the DMV taking pictures of your kids? Government controlled ephebophilia ring there.

    Oh shit, about what all the kids at the beaches? Wearing very little? We should outlaw that also. Maybe not let kids go outside anymore while we are at it. After all, we just think of the children, oh wait, we should outlaw that also.

    • by Nutria ( 679911 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @10:37PM (#50732661)

      I knew some idiot who doesn't know the difference between "getting a photograph" and "posting the photograph on Facebook" would say something stupid like that.

      • by kuhnto ( 1904624 )
        I knew some idiot who doesn't know the difference between "some idiot" and "would say something stupid like that" would say something stupid like that.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      All kidding aside, this highlights how society has refused to deal rationally with pedophilia.

      Killing them all hasn't really reduced their numbers, and the moral scares have just made for a grim, paranoid society.

      And instances like this are essentially keeping kids under the burka, which is an indication of how backwards aspects of modern western culture are.

      If we can't deal with aberrant sexuality judiciously, it will continue to be exploited by those who aren't really considering the welfare of children.

      • Here in the states it seems that a grim, paranoid society is the end goal of the media in general.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Killing them all hasn't really reduced their numbers...

        We haven't yet tried killing all pedophiles here in the states. Usually they go to prison for a few years and then are back on the streets, neither "cured" nor prevented from harming more people.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Those school pics you were forced to get every year? Ya, big pedophile ring right there. Forcing us to look nice for photos, so they could get off on it.

      What about the DMV taking pictures of your kids? Government controlled ephebophilia ring there.

      Oh shit, about what all the kids at the beaches? Wearing very little? We should outlaw that also. Maybe not let kids go outside anymore while we are at it. After all, we just think of the children, oh wait, we should outlaw that also.

      I went to school in germany. There weren't mandatory photos in school. Our DMV equivalent doesn't take photos of kids either. We got nude beaches and most of the time people wont take photos there. Would be really hard to get a pretty picture there as the bigger part of the attending adults aren't bodybuilders or enforce the no photos without permission rule.

      To make it short. They warn about giving the really bad guys an easy way to get a photo and enough data to locate the kids. Some people even post their

      • by Wycliffe ( 116160 ) on Thursday October 15, 2015 @09:31AM (#50734901) Homepage

        To make it short. They warn about giving the really bad guys an easy way to get a photo and enough data to locate the kids. Some people even post their kids schedule.

        Complete and utter FUD. Has there EVER been a case where a non-family member kidnaps a specific kid based on stuff they found online? If you want to kidnap a kid, you already know where they hang out. First off, kidnapping by a complete stranger is extremely extremely rare and secondly the person who is going to do this is going to go where the kids are and grab the first kid they find, they aren't going to try to get a specific kid. Now posting when your kid is home alone is probably not the smartest thing to do so I would venture to say that posting your own work schedule or whereabouts would be more dangerous than posting a picture of your kid or your kid's schedule. Lastly, so they have your kid's picture, who cares? They can get millions of pictures on google by googling "kid". That's not the kind of pictures they are wanting and in no way does it make your kid any more at risk. The only thing it could possibly do is allow a kidnapper to put a name to a face so they can call the kid by name but that can be done by listening to the kids play for 5 minutes and abducting kids is disgustingly easy. Show up with a cute dog and you can have your pick of any kid on the playground. It just doesn't happen.

        • It just doesn't happen.

          You realize this. I realize this. I'm sure plenty of German cops realize this as well... those that are smart enough to be doing actual policework, that is. Those in charge of [whatever passes for] Hagen's police public relations department? Clearly not so much.

        • If you really cared I could dig up specifics, but here in the US there was an abduction and either actual or attempted murder of a juvenile by someone not known to the family and only to the child via online activity. The perpetrator was a criminal who had done this before.

          So, no it is not "complete and utter FUD". And, yes, there *has* "EVER been a case".

          Now, is this normal? No. The vast majority of abductions are done by a close relative (often the mother or father in custody cases). Are cases like the on

          • If you really cared I could dig up specifics, but here in the US there was an abduction and either actual or attempted murder of a juvenile by someone not known to the family and only to the child via online activity. The perpetrator was a criminal who had done this before.

            What you're describing sounds like a child predator. This not the same thing at all. A child predator finds a tween/teen in a chat room or where the tween/teen has their own personal facebook account and starts a conversation. This is not the same thing as an adult posting pictures of their kid on their adult facebook page.

            • The statement "Complete and utter FUD. Has there EVER been a case where a non-family member kidnaps a specific kid based on stuff they found online?" is not true and it sounds like you aren't contesting that, instead trying to change the topic/use semantics.

              In what way is a pedophile *not* a child predator?

              • The statement "Complete and utter FUD. Has there EVER been a case where a non-family member kidnaps a specific kid based on stuff they found online?" is not true and it sounds like you aren't contesting that...

                I'll contest it. The kidnapping was not "based on stuff they found online", it was based on an interactive online relationship between the "predator" and the child. Ergo, this case does not prove the statement false.

                In any case this has no bearing on the danger, or lack thereof, of posting photos of your children on sites like Facebook. It may hint that in some cases there may be a danger in allowing your children to form online relationships with strangers without adult supervision.

              • The statement "Complete and utter FUD. Has there EVER been a case where a non-family member kidnaps a specific kid based on stuff they found online?" is not true and it sounds like you aren't contesting that, instead trying to change the topic/use semantics.

                In what way is a pedophile *not* a child predator?

                Yes, a child predator is a pedophile and no, I'm not trying to change the topic/sematics. You are the one trying to change the topic from a parent posting photos of their kid to a kid talking to strangers online. As other people have posted, there is a HUGE difference between a young kid having a conversation with a stranger online using the kid's personal facebook account and a parent posting pictures of a kid.online on an adult account. The first is dangerous but has no connection to the later.

    • What about the Coppertone girl!?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

  • This should be fun.

    Attention whore Facebookers caught between their desire to show off their special snowflake with their paranoia that everyone they don't know is a pedophile interested in their kids.

  • by Nutria ( 679911 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @10:43PM (#50732689)

    Sudden breakout of common sense. It's the exact same thought I had when watching "David After Dentist" on YT.

    Imagine him at 15, scared and asking a girl on a date, and her asking him if he's been to the dentist lately.

  • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @10:47PM (#50732711)

    Be afraid, be VERY afraid!

    Pedophiles are everywhere, under your BED, in the CLOSET, in your SCHOOLS, hiding behind TREES, at the SUPERMARKET!!!

    They're at the AUTO DEALER, they're in the POOL, they're climbing MOUNTAINS, be AFRAID!!! Everyone you know is SECRETLY a pedophile or a satanist or BOTH!! AAAAHH!!!

    Be afraid of everyone everywhere all the time!!

    OoooOOooooh scary!!

    • Logic would force me to conclude that while those places are pretty safe, anywhere with a large percentage of politicians and youth pastors is another story entirely.
      • Logic would force me to conclude that while those places are pretty safe, anywhere with a large percentage of politicians and youth pastors is another story entirely.

        This is very true. Sad, but true. Wanna get your child molested? Send him or her to a church youth group.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    There's really no good reason to post photos of your children. There's no reason to post photos of yourself, really, but at least you and your friends understand what is going on when you do it and can make your own decisions.

    I do a lot of photography on the side, shooting with models and all sorts of other people. I will never post photos of children (I've only taken a few, for that matter). Am I being paranoid? Perhaps, but there's just no reason to do it. It's also a matter of self-preservation. If

    • Re:I agree, mostly (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @11:17PM (#50732841)

      If some creeper gets the photo and photoshops it into something horrible, I may get mixed up in something that will ruin me.

      What if they take a photo of an adult that you've shot pics of (or a pic of you) and photoshops it into something horrible, perhaps involving children?

      The chances of that happening are very, very small, but there's nothing really to be gained from allowing photos of adults to be misused in some nefarious way. Obviously I'm taking this to an extreme silliness, but how is it different?

      Maybe one of your pictures gets used in a frame-up or photoshopped into child porn or something that looks really incriminating...at what point do we all just say this is paranoia running wild?

      The fact is that anyone that wants pictures of kids will have no trouble finding them on the web, so I think that boat has already sailed.

      • What if they take a photo of an adult that you've shot pics of (or a pic of you) and photoshops it into something horrible, perhaps involving children?

        You know, you don't even need that. What if you've got carrier grade NAT (all the neighbourhood shares same IP), some of your neighbours does something really horrible, police asks the provider who had that IP, and among the many people who share that IP, they just draw a name at random, or, well, pick the one who annoyed the helpdesk the most (hehe sweet revenge... NOT).

        From there on, hysteria just goes its way, and if they find evidence that you ever deleted a file, or uninstalled some software, "they" j

    • by Kkloe ( 2751395 )
      You are talking about posting pictures of others children, not the same thing of people posting photos of their children, yeah some person could do some photocrop of your own children pictures still.
    • by tgv ( 254536 )

      > There's no reason to post photos

      That's the core. There is almost never a reason to post photos online for everyone to see. If you want to send a picture of your child to its grandparents, email or a private message would be more effective. Actually, there is almost never a reason to post anything online. Which means that it boils down to some form of boasting, this time involving your kids. "Look how nice my kids are."

      • Do you have no friends? None that you don't get to see on a regular basis?

        Posting photos online, particularly facebook, is a way to feel connected to people you may not be able to see IRL as much as you would like. Also facebook tends to cause group conversations, where multiple people contribute to a subject and often not the original person you intended the photo for. It is also a great way, when you have kids, to find out that a friends kid has a similar hobby and that you should push to organise a pl

      • by chukm ( 548303 )
        Exactly. Kind of like posting on a technology website to show how insightful you are.
      • Parents don't need a reason. They are all proud beyond rationality of everything their spawn does, and social media lets them show the world.

  • The German police advice about pedophiles is not to brag about your kids? What's next, are they going to tell Jews not to wear Yamacas to avoid antisemitism?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      >>What's next, are they going to tell Jews not to wear Yamacas to avoid antisemitism?
      Already happening in Copenhagen, Denmark. The growth of muslims the last 20 years does not like jews. So most jews today chooses not to openly display their religion to avoid problems.
      Of course it is racist of me to point out that fact.

  • Outside many private schools in Australia are signs saying don't take pictures of our cherubs. Or what exactly? I see the signs generally after hours, otherwise I might take a selfie of myself "thinking about it" with the sign behind me, and then take pictures of vicious Sydney Lord of the Flies aspirants at their fucking worst. If the LOTF reference in the context of Sydney schools doesn't resonate, the Sydney school system is an order of magnitude more vicious than the inner city ghetto schools I went to

  • Why should I care? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Harlequin80 ( 1671040 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @11:54PM (#50732989)

    I say this as the father of two little girls. But if I post pictures on facebook of my daughters they are photos that I have deemed OK for public consumption. They are photos that if they were published on the front page of a news paper I would be absolutely fine about it. So given that, why should I care if someone with a perversion finds one of them titillating? Yeah it's definitely pretty high on the gross out scale but maybe I shouldn't post pictures of my cat then for a similar reason?

    This is a totally totally stupid suggestion. If someone does collect photos of kids off the internet from facebook NO CHILD IS HARMED. Stupid.

    • Don't get why people here are so upset. Go to a dating site, every woman who has Pictures of herself including one/some of her kids gets mailed: don't put your childrens photos here! It is dangerous!
      Obviously the people (and the german police) believe that pedophiles and kidnappers pick up children via web sites instead of random kids they met in RL.

      I was moderator for a while on okcupid.com and 90% of the complaints of "abusing fotos" or how you want to call it where not: sexual explicit, or what ever but:

      • I was moderator for a while on okcupid.com and 90% of the complaints of "abusing fotos" or how you want to call it where not: sexual explicit, or what ever but: "contains children"! (which was completely legit according to the sites policy)

        These people might have complained not so much to "protect" the kids, but rather to protect the "users" of the photos. What if somebody jerked off to the photo (i.e. to the adult in it who is the main subject), was caught in the act, and the onlooker presumed the jerking off was because of the kids. You know, there are lots of hysterical people out there...

      • It frankly is a stupid mindset. I would be far more concerned about the creepy guy who keeps doing the slow drive by of the school then some random on the inter-tubes. It makes me wonder what kind of life these kids lead that things like facebook are their biggest vector for coming in contact with strangers. Are they seriously that wrapped up in cotton wool that they have no interaction with the outside world???

        • I wouldn't be too concerned about the creepy guy. Sure, he might be a pedo casing the joint - but a more likely explanation is a parent of a potential future student trying to get a look at how the students really behave, not how they look on the school website.

    • So given that, why should I care if someone with a perversion finds one of them titillating?

      Because, if that person with a perversion happens to be a forensic "expert", or a judge, it's you who go into the slammer.

      Yeah it's definitely pretty high on the gross out scale but maybe I shouldn't post pictures of my cat then for a similar reason?

      There is far less hysteria about zoophilia than there is about pedophilia.

      If someone does collect photos of kids off the internet from facebook NO CHILD IS HARMED.

      Yeah, but try explaining that to a judge...

      • This is totally illogical. If I post a picture of my daughter in her ballet costume and someone finds it turns them on it doesn't make me someone who produces child porn. No jury would convict based on that.

        • This is totally illogical. If I post a picture of my daughter in her ballet costume and someone finds it turns them on it doesn't make me someone who produces child porn.

          You are right, this is totally illogical. But since when did logic play any part in those witch trials? It's all about emotions, not logic. And that's exactly the problem.

          No jury would convict based on that.

          There is no intelligence test required to be part of a jury. And probability is indeed quite large that if the prosecutor pulls off a good show, that the jury may convict on the flimsiest of evidence. Just look at the Facebook discussions on posts which are about this subject, and see how quickly some people can switch off their brain.

  • German Police made very simple very basic risk assessment. They probably have analyzed the root causes within the cases of bullying, sex predators, and have concluded that FB is one big opening where information is watched by the people you would never want anywhere near you.

    It does not matter that you have "adjusted" your privacy settings as "private". Sooner or later children will be tagged and identified.

    You can bet your bottom dollar that the Hague police warning to the parents is based on more than one

    • Sure, if you set the value of sharing photos of your kids with your friends to zero, and then we compare a one in twenty million risk to zero, then we'll err on the side of caution.

      But in the real world, people enjoy seeing what their friends are up to (parents' lives are strongly defined by their kids) as that helps build strong social relationships.

      We take them to soccer games too, even though there's a one in two million chance of them being killed in a car wreck on the way. And, OMG, swimming. I'm not

    • German Police made very simple very basic risk assessment.

      Yes, and they BLEW IT. Part of doing a risk assessment is weighing the risk against the benefits. They erroneously decided that the incredibly unlikely occurrence of a predator deciding to attack your child because they saw a photo on Facebook outweighed the benefit of sharing photos with people easily via Facebook.

      I'll make a prediction: no matter how hard you look, you won't be able to find many fact-based news stories online where an actual predator attacked an actual child because of a Facebook photo. I

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 15, 2015 @12:40AM (#50733141)

    ...not strangers. Why? Because they have extended unsupervised access. The idea that roving bands of pedos are parachuting in from the hills is ridiculous.

    • family, or members of the clergy. Strangers are a real stretch. It happens, but it is pretty rare.

  • A sexual deviant looked at pictures of people online and had sexual thoughts. Shut down EVERYTHING.
    • by jd2112 ( 1535857 )

      A sexual deviant looked at pictures of people online and had sexual thoughts. Shut down EVERYTHING.

      Perhaps a German sexual deviant in a position of authority looked at pictures of people online and had sexual thoughts and said 'Shut down EVERYTHING'?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ..one of the most sinister features of the Fascist character.

  • A bit misleading... (Score:5, Informative)

    by nava68 ( 2356090 ) on Thursday October 15, 2015 @02:44AM (#50733525)
    I just read the original post by the Polizei Hagen and the context is not so much about pedophiles but the emphasis is more on basic privacy concerns... A quick and dirty translation (usual caveats apply):

    Please stop posting photographs of your children for all to see on Facebook and Co! - Even your children have privacy!
    A snapshot naked on the beach or bathing in the pool: Many of you publish pictures of their little ones on Facebook and Co. And very often those are visible to everyone, without any appropriate safeguards in the privacy settings. Maybe you consider the pictures adorable today, but they might prove endlessly embarrassing for your children in a few years - or they might even get bullied! Even worse: pedophile inclined people may use such photos for their own purposes or publish them elsewhere. Your children have a right of privacy. We feel that pictures of children should not be published in social networks. Because the Internet never "forgets" anything. View your pictures of your little ones wtih grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, friends and acquaintances rather personally. Because: Isn't it so much nicer to talk and smile about them together?
    Thank you!
    Your Police Hagen
    • Now, the article is from Germany, but a point of law for those in the US: if you post something to facebook and someone takes offense it can be labeled as child pornography (hey, not even famous award winning movies are safe, e.g., The Little Tin Drum, why should your personal photographs be any more protected).

      I'm sure facebook is lawyered up for this, but technically they would be distributing child pornography. But it gets better: in order to "protect the children" anything or anyone remotely related to

  • This comes from Germany, where fully naked kids up to 10 years old routinely play in public fountains, park steams, and are taken with parents to opposite sex changing room at swimming pools, etc.

    The parents here definitely need more sense talked into them. This goes beyond poorly considered facebook photos. I support the police in this case, despite the fearmongering counterpoint mentioned by others.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Where is small opposite sex kid supposed to change at swimming pool? Alone and parent hope the kid does not panic? 10 years old in Germany routinely change alone, so this must be about smaller kids.

  • I don't know why anybody is so fucking stupid as to post up pictures of their family for all to see. It has nothing to do with child predators or whatever but just a lack of respect for the kid's privacy.

    Of course Facebook could something about this too such as by setting their default privacy settings to minimize mistakes and introducing algorithms which detect children in photos and ask if the user really meant to publish that picture to everyone.

    • I don't know why anybody is so fucking stupid to bring their family in public. Don't they realize that everybody can see them?!
  • The problem is the pedophiles, not Facebook.

    Especially the so-called 'elite', who are involved in pedophile rings and who adhere to a code of silence in order to discredit victims and protect themselves. It is a huge problem globally.

    I really don't think taking children's pictures off Facebook is going to change anything.

    This [wikispooks.com] is an excellent book on the subject.
  • No one should post pictures of their ugly children on facebook. What's this about pedos now?
  • If there is a guy who is sexually attracted to rocks, how important is it to make sure that no pictures of rocks end up on facebook?
  • That won't prevent another Rotherham. It does admit that the invasion of Middle Easterners are predisposed to incivilities such as vandalism, rape, assault, and murder.

    Perhaps Germany (and other good EU nations) should ship those hostile migrants back to their home. Then follow Hungary's lead and keep them out. Then again, expecting a GDR-minded leader to stop ringing the dinner bell for Islamic invasion is asking too much.

  • we now have a situation where anything said about facebook that is even slightly negative about facebook , is rediculed , insalted , taken out of context , why is this so ? i have had to travel more than most , " social encounters have more mines than military encounters " the quote comes from a bbc war documentery . it is a pity that among us are people unable to deal with the slightest cultural differese , and this is a pity because we can learn so much , have nicer more fullfilling , interesting lives .

How many surrealists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? One to hold the giraffe and one to fill the bathtub with brightly colored power tools.

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