Parents in France are being warned that their love of posting intimate photos of their young children on Facebook could land them with a fine and jail time.
Thanks to the country's strict privacy laws, reports the Guardian, French authorities have forecast a legal patricide and said if children decide a photo is too revealing, they have grounds to sue for up to €45,000 in damages and a year in prison for the culprit.
Yet, it seems a huge knee-jerk reaction from French law makers to believe that their parents deserve to be punished for being proud of their newborn children.
Yes, the potential for embarrassment years down the line is possible. But the reality of people seeking out those photos to cause harm seems slim.
Also, by simply removing the tags of the photos of any baby who might subsequently join the social network instantly makes it more of a challenge to find and seek them out.
Facebook through the years
Facebook through the years
Parents could get sued by their kids for putting baby photos on Facebook
An unidentifed University of Missouri student looks through Facebook while in class Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2006, on the Columbia, Mo. campus. Facebook, a popular online social network for students, has drawn the attention of several schools administrators and prospective employers to see what students are up to. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)
**ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND FEB. 24-25** Facebook.com's mastermind, Mark Zuckerberg smiles at his office in Palo Alto, Calif., Monday, Feb. 5, 2007. He is sitting on a potential gold mine that could make him the next Silicon Valley whiz kid to strike it rich. But the 22-year-old founder of the Internet's second largest social-networking site also could turn into the next poster boy for missed opportunities if he waits too long to cash in on Facebook Inc., which is expected to generate revenue of more than $100 million this year. The bright outlook is one reason Zuckerberg felt justified spurning several takeover bids last year, including a $1 billion offer from Yahoo Inc. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
This photo photo provided by the Medill News Service shows a Facebook web page seen in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2008. (AP Photo/Medill, News Service, Lillian Cunningham)
FILE - This July 23, 2008 file photo shows Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, delivering the keynote address during the annual Facebook f8 developer conference in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers a keynote address at a conference in San Francisco, Wednesday, April 21, 2010. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
A businessman displays the Facebook Inc. web page using an Apple iPad, made by Apple Inc. in this arranged photograph in London, U.K., on Thursday, Aug.19, 2010. Research In Motion Ltd. is turning to technology used in BMW audio systems and the Armyï¿½s Crusher tank as it tries to distinguish its new tablet computer from Apple Inc.ï¿½s iPad, said three people familiar with the plans. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images
FILE- This undated product image released by Facebook on Aug. 25, 2010, shows Facebook Places. (AP Photo/Facebook) NO SALES. BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE.** zu APD9318 **
Mark Zuckerbergs facebook page. (Erkan Mehmet / Alamy)
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about the redesign during the f/8 conference in San Francisco, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011. Facebook is dramatically redesigning its users' profile pages to create what Zuckerberg says is a "new way to express who you are." (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
This June 20, 2012 photo shows a Facebook login page on a computer screen in Oakland, N.J. Facebook is expected to report their quarterly financial results after the market closes on Thursday, July 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Stace Maude)
FILE - In this May 9, 2013 file photo, Joshua Knoller, an account manager with Nicholas & Lence Communications, looks at the Facebook page of his mother, Rochelle Knoller of Fair Lawn, N.J., on his office computer, in New York. Knoller spent years refusing his motherâs âFriend Requestâ on Facebook before eventually âcaving in.â Today they have an agreement: sheâll try not to make embarrassing comments, and he can delete them if she does. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gestures while delivering the keynote address at the f8 Facebook Developer Conference Wednesday, April 30, 2014, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
23 March 2015 - Istanbul, TURKEY: Facebook user login screen. The number of active mobile users Facebook has reached 1 billion people. (Photo via Shutterstock)
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For me, it feels like the unforeseen consequence of our relationship with social media. Unlike in non-digital settings, in which our identity is a the result of a complex interplay of age, gender, race, socio-economic background and norms and values, online it can be simply typed into existence. Essentially, we can be whoever we want to be.
While that's a fantastic concept for people looking to reinvent themselves, that kind of temptation means that we can prune our identities into a distorted vision of perfection.
But with that pruning comes the anxiety felt when our identity is distorted by someone else, be it a third party or, in this case, a parent. We no longer have control of our online identity – and that may provoke fear and anger. Giving people a legal avenue to sate those anxieties feels short sighted.
In non-digital settings this idea is part of the human experience: that people will make assumptions and judgements based on the information they choose to see about us. Over time we learn that we just have to accept that.
Online however, with a generation of children learning that identity can be tightly managed, controlled and projected in any way they see fit, it feels like an alien concept.
We may be sleepwalking into an age in which affection, presented under the guise of a baby photo, is viewed as a threat that needs to be punished, and we're creating laws that make this easier than ever before.