A Word To Parents About Flickr, Porn and Safety

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 9.38.39 AMIf your son or daughter is into photography, chances are it’s digital, and those digital photos are probably stored on the internet somewhere. There are numerous free photo hosting/sharing sites online – Photobucket, Flickr, Google+, Imgur to name just a few.

Let’s focus on Flickr for the moment. Flickr is owned by Yahoo, and its recent redesign has drawn widespread acclaim and a flood of new users. The most recent stats indicate that Flickr currently has 87 million users and boasts over 8 million photos uploaded.

If your kid is using Flickr, you should know that it allows porn and there is a lot of it. Flickr’s age limit is 13, so one can assume that plenty of minors are on there.

I’m not saying that the photos your kids are taking and posting are pornographic, but if they’re using Flickr, they probably use the search function to look at other people’s photos. If their search results filter is not properly set, they could be exposed to a wide variety of adult content.

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 10.03.39 AMLike Google, Yahoo utilizes a SafeSearch functionality. Available settings are “Safe”, “Moderate” and “SafeSearch Off”. We recommend that Flickr users under the age of 18 stick to the “Safe” setting, which is the default setting but can easily be changed.

Follow this link to change the default search settings on a Flickr account and avoid the adult content entirely, but be advised that the SafeSearch function is not foolproof. The person who uploads the photo sets the rating, so pornographic images could be tagged as “Safe”. For this reason, we caution parents against letting kids browse photo sharing sites where the content is posted and moderated by users, not professionals.

While you’re at it, you should know that Flickr’s recommended setting for whether photos are geotagged (their precise location is available and can be displayed on a map) is “on”. You can follow this link to turn off geotags on Flickr.

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring teen internet activity.

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