New findings from a researcher at West Virginia University may have parents thinking twice before they post photos of their children on social media. Not only does it raise questions about consent and privacy, but it also leaves kids vulnerable to online predators, the researcher determined.
Laurel Cook, associate marketing professor, WVU John Chambers College of Business and Economics
With back-to-school season in full swing, parents might want to think twice about posting “first day of class” photos of their youngsters on social media, based on West Virginia University research.
While the posting of children’s photos — also known as “sharenting” — may seem like a fun and easy way to share, studies by Laurel Cook, a social marketing and public policy researcher, show that sharing such information poses significant risks.
Cook, associate marketing professor at the John Chambers College of Business and Economics, has been studying these risks with her colleagues, and her research, published in The Journal of Consumer Affairs, reveals that sharenting is a far more pervasive problem than most caregivers realize. Not only does it raise questions about consent and privacy, but it also leaves kids vulnerable to online predators.
“A lot more people have access to information about a minor than I think the world knows,” Cook said.
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