The world is divided on the appropriateness of posting potty-training photos on social media. Some people think it’s cute and harmless, others think it’s a parent’s right to share what is going on in their lives with their friends, still others think it’s a violation of the privacy of the child, and plenty of others just think it’s gross to put someone going to the bathroom on the Internet. Those people may never come to terms, but there could soon be a legal precedent on the issue from Austria, where a young woman is actually suing her parents for posting photos of her potty-training days on Facebook.
According to The Local, the 18-year-old woman has gotten herself a lawyer and will be going before a judge in November to sue her parents for distributing embarrassing photos of her without her consent.
“They knew no shame and no limit – and didn’t care whether it was a picture of me sitting on the toilet or lying naked in my cot – every stage was photographed and then made public,” she said.
It’s weird to sue your parents for posting your potty-training photos on Facebook, but in this case it sounds like her parents left her no choice. It sounds like it goes a lot farther than just one or two innocent photos. The plaintiff says she’s been trying to get her parents to stop posting embarrassing photos of her for years, but they won’t listen. When she asks, it sounds like they just double-down and start doing it more. She says they’ve posted over 500 photos of her on Facebook, and it’s ruining her life.
The fact that her parents let it go this far is really disturbing. Posting one or two ill-advised potty-training photos is one thing. Not taking them down when your child asks is another thing entirely. The fact that they continued posting hundreds of these photos while she pleaded with them to stop is disgusting, and they’re the ones responsible for the fact that this lawsuit is actually going to court. It’s astounding that they’re actually willing to let their daughter pay legal costs to take them to court, just because they want to flex their authority to continue posting photos of her against her wishes. At any point they could have decided to act like reasonable parents and take down the photos just because she asked.
Now not only are they going to court, but the parents are actually going to fight this. Her father says that because he took the photos, he has the legal right to share them. The law about sharing photos of other people varies wildly from country to country, but the young woman’s lawyer says he thinks she has a good case that her privacy has been violated. If she wins, her parents could be forced to compensate her financially for the embarrassment, and to pay her legal costs.
This whole thing is pretty gross, and not in the way that potty-training photos on Facebook are normally gross. If anybody should have veto power over potty-training photos on social media, it’s the kid in question.