Bone of Contention. How well do YOU know your online ‘friends’? Check out how I saw Alex’s Willy.

The NSPCC released their #shareaware campaign this week! The catchy ‘I saw your willy’ is enough for anyone to wonder what’s this about!


This animation is intuitive, inspired and really well anchored in reality. The 2 minute video shows how ‘Alex’ gets his friend to take a picture of his willy on his mobile phone. This is shared with their friend as a joke. Which, subsequently is shared and shared again. The following course of events demonstrates the sheer devastation that can follow from sharing such images. All of Alex’s school see the image and shout

We saw your willy!

Alex walks home from school and gets a text from a school bully.

Your willy is rubbish!

He then gets a message from an ADULT

I like your willy!

The national news announces

The world has seen Alex’s willy!

Alex’s world just melts before him. It’s terrible. Yet it’s all too familiar for a young 17 year old Daniel Perry from Fife. Daniel shared some photos and indecent videos with someone, who he thought was a girl his age. It was in fact an adult man. Who blackmailed Daniel to send more photo’s or he would shame him and tell his parents. The shame was so much, that sickeningly, Daniel chose to take his life and commit suicide in 2013. Heartbreakingly Daniel felt so horrified that his parents would see the videos and photos he had shared, that death was his only option.


This is a crucial hard hitting message to send to our already ‘overly technologised’ society. However we need to accept that we live in a world where adults let alone children, don’t know the boundaries or consequences of over sharing.

What I find just as difficult is the incessant habits of parents, aunties and uncles, grandma’s and grandads, friends, teachers and neighbours posting pictures of their young children on social media.

Generally social media rules are that children have to be aged 13 before they can register on these sites. Register on sites that their photos could have been on for the past 13 years! How can this be? Imagine being 10, knowing you mum has put photos up since birth but not being allowed an account yourself. It makes no sense! My little brother had an account from 14 years old and was under strict conditions to have a picture of Scooby Doo as his profile picture until he was 16! I I was probably the most hated sister at the time!

What would make sense to me, is that all photos of under 13 year olds should be banned. No one can have any justification for posting photos of innocent children. Someone at my work said they could do it because they trusted their 166 friends and why shouldn’t they share their children’s achievements? I would argue a few reasons, one being because normal people dont care about your child’s first steps in a nappy, your child’s first bath, your child’s first trip to the swimming pool, first day at school, first pair of wellies…. I could go on! I can tell you who is interested….. People with bad intentions.

The woman who so aptly told me she trusted all of her 166 friends, shared with me 1 week later, that she had ‘deleted’ a friend on facebook. This was because they had posted a video, as a joke, of child abuse. She was raging. She couldn’t believe he would do that. How could he find that funny? I couldn’t help but ask, I thought you trusted all of your 166 friends? I was met with silence.

I am really keen to take screen grabs of all the children on my feed this year and post them at the end of the year in an album. An album I’ll name ‘my favourite photo’s. I can imagine it will go down a treat. I can hear the reports now.

At the end of the day….. You don’t have the rights to use my photo’s!

Whose photo’s? Those photos you posted last night on Facebook with the status ‘lol’?

Unfortunately yes…. I do! I have as much right to them as the child who never gave their consent for it to be online. If you would just like to refer to the terms and conditions…. You lose ALL rights of that photo once it is posted on the WWW.

So what do I want to achieve from all of this.

A) I really want people to think about their purpose for sharing a photo/album of a child/children. If it’s for family on the other side of the world…. guess what!? Email! You signed up to your account with one. It’s private. Pretty secure and one of a million ways as to not infiltrate ANYONE and everyone’s feed.

B) Has the child given you consent? Do they understand the concept of ‘internet presence’? Something that when that 1 year old is 18 is gonna have a hell of a lot of!

Imagine. I am 30 years old and I choose to go by a pseudonym in all areas of my social media life. Why?


I am so fortunate and glad my parents didn’t have the option to take that choice away from me. Are you allowing your children that right?


C) Seriously. Why? ….Why would anyone on your friends list, that you haven’t seen or spoken to in 2 years want to see little Chloes first bath? Remember ‘Brian’? You’ve not seen him in twenty years! He was a lovely boy when you were both 11, the same time you last saw him. Met him lately? He looks married on his photos. Pretty inactive = low threat. Really? Have you checked his g:drive? Because he’s watching and just screen grabbed that photo. Its now in his catalogue of 1million images ready to post on the darknet.


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2 responses to “Bone of Contention. How well do YOU know your online ‘friends’? Check out how I saw Alex’s Willy.

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