Yesterday, we had really beautiful weather, not that I enjoyed it as much as I should have. Bill and I did spend a little time in the garden. I gave him another homemade haircut and we got some fresh air. As I was messing around on my iPad, I noticed a very annoying Facebook post shared by one of my distant relatives.
It consisted of four pictures of an incredibly adorable black baby boy with skin the color of dark chocolate, kind black eyes, and a fun loving grin. The chubby little boy was naked, sitting in a sink and on a bed, looking positively full of mischief as he smiled and mugged for the camera. Seriously… they are very cute pictures. I’m sure his mama is super proud of him. I think it would be hard not to spoil a child with a cute face like that. Captioning the gallery of photos was this:
I know this picture will not go viral because he is a black baby. He is black and handsome 😍😍 Show some love 🙏🏾
Okay… first off, I’m not going to post or share pictures of a naked child on social media, no matter how cute he is and even if his private parts are covered. I don’t agree with posting naked kid pics online, for a lot of reasons. The number one reason is that there are a lot of creeps out there who look for these kinds of photos. Even if there are no private parts showing, it just seems unwise to share pictures of young children for the world to see, particularly if they’re engaged in an activity that is usually private and done in a state of undress. I’m looking at the people who share pictures of their kids on the toilet, too.
Secondly– again– he’s a baby and didn’t consent to having pictures of his naked self spread all over the Internet. Even if those pictures don’t become whacking material for some mouth breathing, basement dwelling pervert, years from now, when that baby is grown up, he might not appreciate having his private photos passed around like that for the world to see, especially when he’s not dressed.
Thirdly, I HATE it when people engage in underhanded, manipulative tactics to get what they want, even if it’s just a stupid social media post. If someone posts a manipulative comment like “I bet no one will share or like this.” or “I know this picture won’t go viral”, you can bet I’m going to live up to their “low” expectations. That is especially true if there is also an offensive presumption made, such as everybody’s racist and won’t share a photo of a black baby. Yes, there are racist assholes out there who might have that attitude, but I’d like to think that most people aren’t that shitty. And if you’re going to publicly assume something offensive with the hope or expectation that people will prove you wrong, I’m inclined to just let you be right.
I was curious to see what people had to say about the pictures of the child. Quite a few people just commented on how cute he is, although a surprising number of people were annoyed about the comment regarding the baby’s skin tone. They were rightly offended that a person would use the shame of racism to goad people into making the picture go viral. Only a few people pointed out what I think is obvious, that naked kid pics have no place on social media or the Internet in general. The few who mention the potential for the pictures to get into the wrong hands were chastised by those who see nothing wrong with sharing innocent bath pics of children.
Personally, I don’t think those types of pictures should go viral. I’m sure they were originally put up by someone related to the baby, hopefully just for trusted family members and friends to see. But once you put something like that on the Internet, you can very easily lose control of where it goes. Anyone can copy that picture and disseminate it. And obviously someone has, and now one of my cousins, who no doubt doesn’t even know the baby or his family and merely reacted to his cuteness, has taken matters into her own hands, along with many thousands of other people.
I’m sure nothing bad will happen to that gorgeous little boy. Or, at least I hope nothing bad will. I just think sharing these kinds of pictures of naked children is a stupid idea. Yes, they’re cute, but not everyone looking at those photos will stop at simply smiling and thinking the baby is adorable.
And besides… most posts that pressure people into liking and sharing, even if they don’t include photos, are stupid and annoying. Most people don’t want to be told what to do, how to think, or how they should behave. I humbly suggest coming up with something original and posting that instead.