I’m going to file the shenanigans of the last few days under #Drama with a capital D people.
I did mention this in passing yesterday on my Britmums Live post, but it escalated rather quickly as these things tend to the scary point where me and someone who I really do not get on with (fuck knows why, its been so long I can barely remember but there you go) were actually unwittingly agreeing (me being unable to see what the usually toxic one was saying and vice versus due to blocks).
Which made me slightly scared and others in the know realise how much this shit had gotten real.
Basically, it opened up a debate on where we post our images and what rights other’s have to use them, with or without permission and in what context.
A site I had not heard of owing to the lack of need for buggies these days had, inexplicably, allowed/used themselves (its a grey area as it was posted on their Facebook page using their banner, not a members banner but they deny this and have since removed it) a photo, taken from The Montcalm, of some of the Babes with Babes in arms Mummies and their gorgeous and well behaved offspring outside in the courtyard.
This meet was pre-planned to take a memento photo of the babies in their Doola pushchairs together. It was planned on the Facebook BML page so a lot of us knew it was happening.
The issue started as this person clearly knew this was happening, and took a snap from above. They did not ask to do so. They then, further inexplicably, posted it under the banner of the group page (so an admin of the page then), slating to death the Mums. It had lots of false allegations, such as the babies were in the car seat part of the pushchairs “for two whole days”.
No they weren’t. BML is not a whole two day event, and even if it was, and they would know this having been there, there is no sodding room for buggies, prams and the like in the place as its positively heaving from 2pm Friday onwards. Not only that, another image lifted from one of their pages showed that, yes, baby was in the car seat bit for a photo, but you could clearly see Mum had a sling on- as that’s where the babies were.
Worse than that, this snide and sensationalist stat chaser had spoken to them over the weekend and had posted that she was told by one of the ladies that she did not have a car with her. So? Some folk cannot afford some spacious mini caravan on wheels for their child. Buggies go through rigorous safety checks, or they would not be on sale.
The killer line though, which made me seethe was they had accused the Mums, wrongly, of not caring that their child could suffer growth problems amongst others. And SIDS.
Now, SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is an emotive topic in society anyway, but none more so than with us bloggers. We have jumped out of planes, lit up Instagram and Twitter with purple and rainbows and stars, and have supported at least one member through something not one sane parent ever wants to experience. We have fund raised and blogged tirelessly for the Lullaby Trust.
YOU JUST DON’T DO THAT, YOU DON’T ACCUSE A FELLOW PARENT OF TRYING TO CAUSE SIDS TO THEIR CHILD, YOU BLOODY MORON.
Its not clever, funny, appropriate, right, legitimate or many other words I could use to ever, dare, say that, accuse that, or mention that in a sentence unless you want people with more brains than you in their arse to tell you you actually suck.
Which, of course, we did. Cos we are like that.
They then ignored us and removed comments like mine, and pretty much though allowed their members to keep on re-sharing on their pages instead.
It then turned out that this is not the first time this page had pinched photos used by bloggers who were reviewing or had bought the Doola pram and included their child in the picture. All without permission and all whilst slating parent’s including them for using it.
They have done this quite a few times. They don’t ask to, they certainly do not pay.
Its not unusual of course for the uninitiated or down right ignorant to pinch a picture found on Google images and not realise/not care this is totally and utterly against the law.
But this bunch have been told time and time and again and they simply deny, block and ignore the person who, quite rightly, gets the hump.
You cannot be spouting (in caps of all things) that you are concerned for a child’s welfare and then blatantly post an image, taken from above without consent or taken from a blog, google images, Instagram, Pinterest, or anywhere else with the child in it. You are a tool if you think you can.
They however, do not see or simply don’t wish to that they are in the wrong. They finally responded last night on twitter, and it was the same old rubbish about how the image was in the public domain, their site had not shown it just linked to it (rubbish as they did use it on their Facebook page under their banner), blah, blah, blah.
I tried to be polite, saying to them along with other knowledgeable folk that you cannot do this, you can use stock images (free or otherwise and readily available) but linking to, or posting images without consent is blatant theft. They did not want to know.
The other issue here is, as a parent with an 8 and 6 year old, its not like them good old days when your parent’s rocked up to the school play armed with a shaky old camera (with film- remember them?) or a Camcorder the size of a BBC outdoor broadcast camera and in some cases with a boom attached and plot out and take whatever images and film you like.
You have to wait until the end, collar your over stimulated child and pose them away from everyone else. Or ask permission of their mates parent’s to have them in the photo.
You cannot simply take images with other people’s children in and not be in line for having your collar felt by the Local Police, should someone complain that you accidentally got their cherub in (and it’s happened).
So, taking a photo, above, without telling the parent’s involved and then posting it online publicly in a forum, and expecting and encouraging others to share their post and accompanying braying mob mentality, is totally and utterly, unquestionably something you can, and should you weird bugger, get yourself in massive piles of shite for.
Taking photos is fine. Of your own kid. Off a free to use stock image site. With permission from someone else.
Taking photos from someone else’s site, or social media, or above like some weird stalker person, is never, ever OK.
And I hope the person responsible is dealt with soon.