WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?
I had meant to mention a strange thing that had been happening on my Flickr site in the past couple of days. One woman commented under a picture of my 2-year-old granddaughter Emily that I had posted there that she wanted permission from Emily's mother to use Emily's picture, but it was very difficult to understand what she was saying about what she would do with it. My immediate reaction was to say "no" but I wrote to Jeff and Steph, forwarding the information, and asked for their opinion. Their answer was the same as mine -- they said "no."
I thought I would be able to perhaps e-mail or go to this woman's Flickr site but when I tried to, I found that her site had been deleted. Not a good sign! So I responded to her in a comment under hers on my own site, under the picture of Emily that she had been interested in.
At about that same time, I received the exact same comment under another picture of Emily on my site, although from possibly a different woman. I just automatically said "no" to her request to use it. I checked her Flickr site and she had pictures of young people kissing and of little children.
The next step I took was to go to both pictures and change them from being viewable by the public to being viewed by friends and family only.
I'm not sure why these two women (if they were different, and not the same person under two different names) were so interested in pictures of a little girl. Granted, it's flattering that someone thinks my granddaughter is so pretty, but I was made uneasy by these requests and my urge to protect little Emily, even just in photographs, was very strong.
I have taken similar measures in the past with pictures of my grandsons, when it seemed there was too much interest in them, but I had been warned by other online friends about pedophiles on Flickr and so I knew what I was protecting my grandsons' photographs from. I have to admit to being a bit baffled why there is so much interest in Emily's photos. Could the same kind of dynamic be at work when it comes to little girls? The very thought makes me sick!
I have considered closing my Flickr site down but I can use the option to have friends and family only view the pictures of the children when necessary. I do use my Flickr site to store pictures that I can transfer to my blog, too. Plus I have a number of nice friends on Flickr, and I enjoy looking at their pictures.
For now, the situation of the women wanting the use of Emily's pictures is a mystery. If anyone can enlighten me as to why that might have been the case, I would appreciate knowing, rather than just feeling a little bit paranoid about the whole thing. Maybe it was all very innocent -- and I hate to accuse people falsely -- but I have friends who told me when I started blogging that they would never allow pictures of their grandchildren or anyone in their family to be posted on the Internet. Maybe they were smart, I don't know.