The internet is an enormous … hole of knowledge – for lack of a better analogy.
This world is part Encyclopedia – that reaches far beyond anything our grandparents ever imagined.
This world is part fiction – either by intent or accident.
This world is mostly something in between.
Research papers, projects, and almost all other information gathering is done over the internet.
Which brings me to the topic of this post:
This past week a video was brought to my attention. This video was made by a kid, who I’m sure does not read this blog and I’m not linking the video to… the point is not to make a kid feel bad. This post is to help parents and others understand – the sensitivity of being “us.”
The video contained a photo of Alexander. The photo was beautiful, hey… the kid is beautiful, but, the photo was used without my permission.
Allow me to explain.
Parents, please help your children remember these quick rules:
1. Just because it is on the internet, does not mean it is true. Much of the internet is filled with fiction, or some version of fiction. People build fake lives, create fake “credentials,” and even put fake information out on purpose. Sometimes people are just misinformed. Sometimes… even respectable websites have false information – as did the old WHS websites when Alexander was born.
2. Information from the internet should be quoted or cited… just as it would have been in a book.
3. Photos from the internet are not free. Photos from the internet are not free. Photos from the internet are not free. I say this, even as I have photos on my own blog from other websites. They have been sourced, and I have been slowly trying to replace them as I become more and more aware of the ramifications of using photos without specific permission. (I’ll come back to this).
4. When in doubt, do not publish the work to the internet. A person can create a research project… and never hit that publish button. The work can be turned in, a point can be made, but it doesn’t need to be published to the entire world wide web.
A photo was taken from our website and used in this kid’s video. Although I recognize the “risk” of putting photos on the internet, I guess it really didn’t hit home until this past week. And, even though I put photos on the blog, I don’t believe they are any more or less secure than photos from Facebook or any other place.
This is the world we now live in.
However, just because Alexander has an ear pit doesn’t mean I want him to be the poster child for children with ear pits. Just because Alexander has something… doesn’t mean I want it used as an example.
Sometimes, I have posted photos of my children and myself in times of weakness and strength. We are human. I believe it is ok to show us as human. I believe this is part of the story we are living. There are also passions I hold dear to my heart, and I still plan to write, advocate, and live in pursuit of those passions.
But open reign? This blog is not. Nor is any other site on the internet.
**ps. All my photos came from Wikicommons**
You can read more from Kristen by visiting her blog, A Little Something For Me
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