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Monday question: Facebook & privacy

Posted by Robin Abrahams  January 30, 2012 06:31 AM

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Here's a juicy one: 


As I approach the birth of my first child within a few weeks, my husband and I have been discussing the issue of privacy and Facebook. Neither of us uses Facebook, but many of our friends and family members do. The topic has come up recently because my mother is a repeat offender when it comes to posting information or pictures about us that we have asked her not to share. For example, she outed my pregnancy twice on Facebook before we were ready to announce it to our friends and extended family - after she was asked specifically and repeatedly not to post anything online. Recently, I discovered (through my sister who has an account in order to police her daughter, and apparently also our mother) some very personal pregnancy pictures of me that she posted, and I am not even sure how she got them (in a bathing suit, bare belly pics that were taken to track my belly growth, etc). As much as I love my baby belly, I don't like the idea of pictures I feel are private and personal floating around the internet that weren't meant for everyone's eyes. So now we are thinking about how we feel and what to do about not having control over what is posted about us and our children. 

I want to ask you and your readers: Do we have rights as individuals and parents as to what is posted about us and our children on the internet? Is there an etiquette rule established yet as to what we can post about others without their permission? Looking forward to the feedback!

What do you think, readers? I'll post my thoughts on Friday. In the meantime, tune in to "The Emily Rooney Show" on WGBH tomorrow -- I'll be on between 12:30 and 1. And on Wednesday, join me here at noon for an online chat. 

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About Miss Conduct
Welcome to Miss Conduct’s blog, a place where the popular Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams and her readers share etiquette tips, unravel social conundrums, and gossip about social behavior in pop culture and the news. Have a question of your own? Ask Robin using this form or by emailing her at missconduct@globe.com.
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Who is Miss Conduct?

Robin Abrahamswrites the weekly "Miss Conduct" column for The Boston Globe Magazine and is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners. Robin has a PhD in psychology from Boston University and also works as a research associate at Harvard Business School. Her column is informed by her experience as a theater publicist, organizational-change communications manager, editor, stand-up comedian, and professor of psychology and English. She lives in Cambridge with her husband Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and their socially challenged but charismatic dog, Milo.

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