Parents in France may soon be banned from sharing images of their children on social media. But does 'sharenting' really violate a child’s rights? What do you think?
French children have already won the culture wars. They don’t throw food. They eat real meals – even snails and oysters! They wear chic and tidy pinafores. Soon, French parents might assume a global air of superiority, too. Because an anti-sharing bill is currently being debated in the country’s Senate. If passed, it will be a world first.
The legislation aims to protect children’s rights to their own images. It would make protecting that privacy the legal duty of parents, who would be jointly responsible for their offspring’s image rights and must “involve the child …according to his or her age and degree of maturity.”
Parents deemed to have overstepped the bounds of their children’s privacy rights – sharing material that could be seen as insensitive or inappropriate, or oversharing for financial gain – could be punished, and even have their rights to share images of their child removed “if the dissemination of the child’s image by both parents seriously affects the child’s dignity or moral integrity,” according to the proposal.
“The message to parents is that their job is to protect their children’s privacy,” Bruno Studer, the French politician who put the bill forward, said in an interview. “On average, children have 1,300 photos of themselves circulating on social media platforms before the age of 13, before they are even allowed to have an account.”