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AIBU to be concerned about a friend putting pics of her sponsored child on facebook?

(26 Posts)
acebaby Thu 11-Oct-12 13:54:29

Genuine AIBU (I hope IABU in fact!!)

A friend sponsors a little boy through a charity. She has posted a lot of pictures of him, labelled with his full name. His village is also named. She has also posted scans of his letters, school reports and so on. I am concerned that his guardians probably don't know about this, and that this little boy could be easily identified. For background, I am (perhaps unnecessarily) squeamish about facebook. I don't put pictures of my own boys on there, and I would be furious to find that someone had posted detailed information about them.

On the other hand, seeing the relationship that my friend has built with this little boy might encourage others to sponsor a child, or donate to the charity organization. The pictures are just ordinary snaps of him mucking around, and the school reports in his country are as bland as the ones my DCs receive in the UK. So I am genuinely not sure.

In a cowardly way, I hope IABU so that I don't feel obligated to tackle my friend about this (she can be a bit prickly and we aren't that close any more).

pigletmania Thu 11-Oct-12 13:57:25

YANBU that is a bt too much personal infraction to put on facebook

pigletmania Thu 11-Oct-12 13:57:46

Meant information

WelshMaenad Thu 11-Oct-12 14:01:00

I'd be sick to the back teeth of the "look at meeeee, I'm a philanthropist!!" in addition to concerns about the boy's privacy. People who wave their charitable doings like a flag make me vomitous.

ThreeWheelsGood Thu 11-Oct-12 14:01:36

Where does this boy live - another county I presume? Aren't quite a few sponsors sent this kind of info? I imagine it's not completely private, though I appreciate what you're saying about it bring the child's full name.

catwomanlikesmeatballs Thu 11-Oct-12 14:10:11

yanbu, it's a gross invasion of privacy and too many details about him could put him at risk. It's ridiculous what people make public about themselves, even worse when they do it to others. Having had a stalker before (and that's not uncommon), if he had access to the breadth of personal information about me that most people put up about themselves/their children/other people on social networking sites, it would have been lethal.

If someone is targeted, personal information in the public arena just makes things easier for the one doing the targetting.

The worst thing that will probably happen though is that this kid will grow up and have total strangers knowing details about their early years that they may not want others to know. Many people like to define themselves and this form of information overshare takes that away from them.

acebaby Thu 11-Oct-12 14:14:14

Thanks for your thoughts so far. The boy is in South America. I know that the shared information isn't completely private, but presumably his guardians had consented to it being sent to his sponsors (?) Not sure how the child sponsorship works. Perhaps this information is already available on the charity's website. I hadn't thought of that.

WelshMaenad - I know what you mean! But on the whole I admire my friend for sponsoring a child. I am just wondering if I am being a bit old fashioned with my concerns about facebook.

ShushBaby Thu 11-Oct-12 14:15:16

YANBU- it's not OK to post personal details about him, he's not her child.

AND it strikes me as really annoying, self-congratulatory and seeking recoginition for her kind deeds.

acebaby Thu 11-Oct-12 14:15:53

cross-posted with catwoman. sad that my concerns are shared. I am very very cautious about facebook myself - partly for the reasons you say.

WorraLiberty Thu 11-Oct-12 14:17:00

I imagine the child is being advertised all over the place by the charity anyway?

I think I just sicked up a bit at your friend's 'modesty' though.

Nothing like crowing about what you do for charidee is there? hmm

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Thu 11-Oct-12 14:23:25

Yanbu - She should get the parents consent before posting pics of children, I do with my friends (infact I checked with my friend that I could put a picture of us both on there - we are both in our 20's so not children).
Also I think if she wants to put a picture on of him she could just do one picture of him (with his parents /guardians consent only). I don't see why she has put the school reports on, I find that a bit weird personally. It's not like she has done the work with him. I don't put my own kids actual reports on facebook. If they have done super duper well I just put "Well done LittlePrincess for doing well at school!" and that is it.

I send gifts to sick children, but I don't go on about it on facebook. I have mentioned it to only my sister and my best friend on there in private messages. (as in I need something of a certain theme to send this month, any ideas? kind of way).
<< realise I have mentioned I do this twice on MN so shall now stop mentioning it unless asked >>

pollyblue Thu 11-Oct-12 14:23:27

I sponsored a girl in Bangladesh for 7 years through Plan UK and during that time received photos of her and her family, letters, drawings etc and regular reports from Plan about the work they were doing there. As far as I was concerned those things were for me and close family or friends to see if they wanted to - i wouldn't have put them on Facebook as I don't think anyone should have their photos put on such a public forum without giving their consent.

phantomnamechanger Thu 11-Oct-12 14:48:33

I think she would be in hot water if the charity found out TBH, aside from the fact that she's bragging about how great she is! <vom>

Perhaps you should tell her about a thread you read on MN where a poster was in trouble for oversharing info that wasn't theirs to share?

phantomnamechanger Thu 11-Oct-12 14:50:27

I think there is a possibility she's actually quite nasty - perhaps she thinks she's paid so she "owns" the child and can do as she pleases?

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 11-Oct-12 14:54:51

If she doesn't post that kind of thing about her own children and those of her friends it looks like a) she is attention seeking for the money she gives and b) she thinks he doesn't deserve the same level of privacy as her children (because he is poor, foreign, a charity recipient, no good reason I can think of). YANBU.

GoSakuramachi Thu 11-Oct-12 15:28:26

But what do you think could possibly happen? What is the concern? Especially since they put names and villages in adverts in mass media?

Lovelygoldboots Thu 11-Oct-12 16:18:31

It could be that she is trying to promote the charity that she donates to, sort of look at what my sponsorship money is doing to help this child. I would imagine she feels quite passionate about it. Difficult to say without context, but YANBU, child protection needs to be thought about also.

monkeysbignuts Thu 11-Oct-12 16:19:42

that's just plain weird and show offish behaviour. yanbu shame on you're mate!

airforceone Thu 11-Oct-12 16:26:14

It's particularly unwise to publicise a child in South America given the risk of kidnapping there.

World Vision doesn't allow any posting beyond the child's first name (which is encouraged). Perhaps you could point out to your friend that she is putting her child at risk by publicising his links with (comparatively) wealthy friends.
http://my.worldvision.org/privacy-policy

Lovelygoldboots Thu 11-Oct-12 16:26:19

I don't think her behaviour is weird at all to be honest. Sponsoring a child is a way of getting involved with a childs life and helping them achieve their goals. Surely that is the point of it? Otherwise you would just write a cheque to Oxfam or whatever, if you didn't want that personal input and to understand the kind of hardships those children are facing. And Facebook is as good a way as any to promote that kind of good work. Just my feeling, I can understand though if you do not like to post pictures of your own children facebook.

acebaby Thu 11-Oct-12 16:26:49

Thanks for the posts.

GoSakuramachi - you make a good point. I guess though that someone at the charities must have made the judgement that what these children gain through sponsorship outweighs their loss of privacy sad. Probably nothing bad will happen to him as a result of being on facebook. I just know that I would not want people reading that level of information about my own children.

MrsTerryPrachett and other pp's - she doesn't have children but she has posted quite a lot of pictures of her and her family on facebook. I don't think she is a bad person, but perhaps a bit naive. I think (but am not sure) that her religious views oblige her to try to 'spread the word' at all opportunities. Maybe these posts about charity good deeds are as a result of that.

On balance, based on the views here, I probably should say something to her. I expect she will cut me off, but this will be no great tragedy (we are not especially close). I hope she takes the pictures down.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 11-Oct-12 16:52:34

I'm not the person to ask then... have DD who I never put pictures online of (ex-SS so very paranoid), anti-FB, anti-evangelical religion, don't particularly like child sponsorship for various reasons (AIBabitU about this, hate the cute child = I deserve money aspect).

GhostofMammaTJ Thu 11-Oct-12 17:01:45

It is not such a worry really about the lack of privacy. I imagine most of her friends are English and that she is sharing with them, The child will most likely never know about it.

What bothers me is that she is so 'Oh look at me, aren't I wonderful, giving in this way?'

hoopieghirl Thu 11-Oct-12 17:04:28

Smacks a bit of look at me I am doing good work and lots for charity. Personally I feel its an invasion of the childs privacy not very respectful.

YouMayLogOut Thu 11-Oct-12 17:27:26

YANBU. It's boastful and annoying.

Why doesn't she post a link to the organisation and leave it at that?

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