Saturday, September 26, 2009

It's the Internet Age - Do You Know How Your Child's been Tagged?

I've mentioned before that I'm cautious about what I say about my children online. Not cautious in the "there are predators everywhere" way (although there do sometimes seem to be), but cautious in the "is it really my place to be sharing this information with the world?" way. I've addressed this from a professional perspective on my writing blog; it's a common pitfall for parenting writers. And I've addressed it from the standpoint of a concerned citizen on my social commentary blog
, after I was appalled to stumble upon a blog devoted entirely to the trials and tribulations associated with the unwelcome arrival of a baby whose father was going to "do his best" to love it because that was his job.

But the Internet is ever-evolving, and even the most vigilant among us make missteps. For instance, I never expected my post about my daughter's first Jonas Brothers concert to end up on the front page of a Jonas Brothers fan site. Before that day, my readership among middle-schoolers was fairly limited, but a well-placed RSS feed can change everything.

This time, though, my oversight was a little more serious--and one I'm not quite sure how to protect against in the future. It's the result of strangers tagging content. It might be useful, and it might mean that a lot more content gets tagged, and it might mean that multiple users tagging the same content results in better tags, but it's looking mighty ugly to me at the moment. Back in July, I posted about how learning to swim had been a long and harrowing process for my daughter after an unfortunate incident on day one of swimming lessons. That post included a photograph of my daughter (13) and her friend (12) holding on to a bright yellow inner tube at the park district pool. You may have seen it; it's a cheerful snapshot (taken with my phone) of two CHILDREN laughing in a public swimming pool.

Unless you ask Bing. On Bing, it's currently the number one image result for "waterslide bikini".

No comments: