WATERCOOLER: Why I don't post photos of my son on Facebook

"I DON'T post photos of my son on Facebook."

That line used to get me funny looks. But now family and close friends know the rule.

But what gets me is when we're at the park or the local show and my son is on a ride and some other mother is taking photos or video of her child on the same ride...where does that footage go?

I often feel like making a custom shirt for my son for these occasions that reads: "DO NOT FILM ME" or "DO NOT POST PHOTOS OF ME ON FACEBOOK" but my husband thinks this might make people do it on purpose. He's probably right.

So why don't I allow photos of my son to be posted on Facebook?

For this very reason: 

Australia's new Children's eSafety Commissioner has warned "half of the material found on certain paedophilia websites has been sourced or stolen from parents innocently posting images of their families online".

>>READ MORE: Paedophile websites steal half their photos from social media sites like Facebook

We all see it. People posting photos of their children playing, sleeping, at the beach, in the bath...

And while they might think their privacy setting prevent "others" from seeing it, the cold truth is: anything you put online is visible to any one and forever.

Long before I became APN ARM's Social Media Editor I deleted my Facebook account.

And now, all day every day while I am working I see people posting "innocent" photos of their children on their Facebook page or Instagram feed.

Yes, I get that it is a great way to share photos quickly and easily with your family and friends. But you're also sharing them with the rest of the online world.

You know what I do? If I have a photo of my son I want to share I TEXT it to that person. And the people I am texting it to - usually his grandparents or a close friend - know this picture is for them and them only.

They certainly don't then go posting it on Facebook. 

So next time you have a photo of your child you want to share, think about where and how you share it.

And if that photo or video contains footage of someone else's child, make sure you have their permission first before you go sharing. Really, it's just common courtesy.

Alexia Purcell is APN ARM's Social Media Editor. She manages APN ARM's 40 Facebook pages and 30 Twitter accounts. She also lectures on social media at university.

What do you think about this? Do you post photos of your children on social media? Or maybe you know someone who does? 

Join our daily watercooler by leaving a comment below.

What you're saying on Facebook:

Kez McKenzie: "I edit my photos so other people's kids are cropped out."

Kylie McGrath: "I do not post other kids on my fb, hope other parents do the same of my children."

Pamela Close: "People are getting too parinoid these days. Don't be ruled by fear!!! Enjoy life and expect the best."

Beverley Darby: "Omg really get with the times please build a bridge get over it."

Jane Bolger: "Look at local papers and news footage on tv. Kids and adults are often in the background of a photo or footage for a story....without anyone's permission, to be broadcast and available to anyone."

Simon Hourigan: "Over protective parenting."

Vicki Leathley: "Get over it."

Jenni Webber: "It's the price you pay for taking your kids to a public place. However, if you're really concerned about it, why not just approach the other mother and voice your concerns ... in a nice way. I was shocked when I went to a grandparents day at day care, and was "pre-warned" that I would need permission to take photos."