Degrading staging to make people laugh, influencers who trade in their family life but also photos that parents believe are banal, the "right to the image" of children too often goes beyond the framework on social networks, alert the public authorities and many associations.
Against the backdrop of an offensive by the presidential majority to regulate the use of social networks by children and adolescents, like the adoption Thursday by deputies of a "digital majority" at 15 years, another bill will be examined Monday by the National Assembly to protect the "right to the image" of children.
"Digital educational violence"
Throw a slice of melted cheese in a baby's face and film their reaction. The concept of the "Cheese Challenge" has gone viral on TikTok. Videos of babies crying or awkwardly trying to remove the cheese, to the laughter of parents, have been viewed millions of times. Others portray their family life: a mother with 1.2 million subscribers films her children taking on challenges for money or encourages her 10-year-old daughter to pretend to smoke to cheat on her little brother. Some practice "unboxing", which consists of filming a child unpacking a product, and thus promoting it.
Isolated drifts of influencers in need of notoriety? Not only. The hoax, the "children's police", has flourished on social networks. The principle is to broadcast the recording of a fake police officer: "Your child is not listening to you? We're going to put him in jail. We're coming." The parent films the child frightened or crying.
Introducing Logan, the Cheese Ninja -#cheesechallenge pic.twitter.com/xxXnHO1ou5
— Michael Tsang (@mtsang8) March 3, 2019
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"There are parents who earn several thousand euros a month by swinging spoonfuls of puree at their child's head. These practices are akin to digital educational violence, while we have fought to eliminate spanking and other humiliating practices, "deplores Thomas Rohmer, president of the Observatory of Parenting and Digital Education (Open).
Photos that can end up on paedocriminal networks
Beyond the excesses featuring children on social networks and the Web, the excessive dissemination of photos or videos deemed banal or innocent but which remain years on the Net, can constitute serious infringements of the right to the image of children, warn the associations. The Defender of Rights, in her annual report in November, had called on parents to better respect the right to the image and privacy of children.
Even innocent photos can end up on child criminal networks. "50% of the photos exchanged on child pornography forums were initially published by parents on their social networks. Some images, including photos of naked babies or young girls in gym clothes, are of particular interest to paedocriminal circles, "says Renaissance deputy Bruno Studer, at the origin of the text that will be studied this Monday by the National Assembly.
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