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Gwaihir

Thoughts on unit using social media and privacy?

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Anyone have a unit that refrains from posting pictures of the kids on social media because of privacy concerns for the children?  Or is it not even a thought?  With all the Youth Protection Training and Cyber Chip training the BSA pushes, you'd think that posting photos of minors on social media like facebook, which 1. has to be public to comply with YPT so anyone and everyone in the world can see the photos and 2. subjects the boys to facial recognition software, identity theft, etc.... using facebook to share photos of the boys would be discouraged, or at least require parental consent.  Thoughts? 

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I have worried a bit about this issue as well. We do not use last names anywhere on the Troop website, for example in the patrol section.  The Troop Shutterfly account has only pictures (no names) and there are no pictures that would show someone's name, i.e., a certificate awarded to a Scout that would have their name listed on the Certificate.

 

Beyond that, the website and Shutterfly account are technically open to the public and I have had a lingering doubt as to whether this is okay. 

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Anyone have a unit that refrains from posting pictures of the kids on social media because of privacy concerns for the children? Or is it not even a thought? With all the Youth Protection Training and Cyber Chip training the BSA pushes, you'd think that posting photos of minors on social media like facebook, which 1. has to be public to comply with YPT so anyone and everyone in the world can see the photos and 2. subjects the boys to facial recognition software, identity theft, etc.... using facebook to share photos of the boys would be discouraged, or at least require parental consent. Thoughts?

 

There's no way to hide anyone's identity anymore. There's too much out there and if someone wants to track down someone based on a photo they can.

 

That said, you can limit exposure and comply with the BSA social media guidelines. Don't tag anyone in photos. Don't use full names if you use names at all. Keep your group closed. We asked for clarification from BSA because their policy says no closed groups, which is exactly what our district has. It's also what most websites like ScoutBook or SOAR are. Same with google drives or photo sharing sites like Shutterfly. They replied back with "as long as the site is open to the parents of the unit and follow the BSA two-deep policy" we can use such groups.

 

I'd recommend you contact BSA to get them to tell you this too, but we use closed groups and follow their policy to the letter.

 

If you have any parents who are concerned ask them if they post to social media or if their kids have gaming accounts. I'd be willing to bet any steps you'd take to secure the boys' identity is far greater than the average parent takes to do the same.

Edited by Back Pack

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I used an open Facebook page for my Troop and it was quite popular.  We did as others have already posted above: didn't tag Scouts, didn't use last names, didn't say where we would be until after we had been there.  I know the BSA lit says it should not be closed but my District Executive just created a closed page for our district, which I guess is ok since it's for the adult volunteers?  

 

Our council PR guy says we should be using Facebook and posting photos of the Cubs and Scouts. When I brought up the fact some parents would be against this he was surprised.  We all sign the talent release form when we go to events, right?  The health form we all sign says we allow our images to be used.  

 

If a parent doesn't want their kid's pic on Facebook I'd comply with that request.  Otherwise, post away!

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We're still wrestling with this as a troop.  For sure no one's name should be associated with a picture.  If anyone doesn't want their scout's picture displayed that should be honored.  I've talked to several scout professionals about the meaning of the "no private FB groups"  they all agree the wording is poor and should be read as meaning no private FB between a scout and an adult, but private FB groups where the membership includes but is limited to the families of the scouts is the right way to go.

 

We're currently engaged in a discussion about the troop calendar being public, ie on the front page of the website.  My argument is that this is the easiest way for the information to be useful.  I don't get the argument that there is any danger to knowing where the troop is camping.  We camp at scout camps, state parks, and some private lands.  That there are going to be scouts or kids at the first two is a given for any and every week of the year, and we control the access when we are camped on private property, so I'm not sure what folks concerns are.

Edited by T2Eagle

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We're still wrestling with this as a troop.  For sure no one's name should be associated with a picture.  If anyone doesn't want their scout's picture displayed that should be honored.  I've talked to several scout professionals about the meaning of the "no private FB groups"  they all agree the wording is poor and should be read as meaning no private FB between a scout and an adult, but private FB groups where the membership includes but is limited to the families of the scouts is the right way to go.

 

I received a similar directive from my council. Also, like @@Back Pack said, websites can also be considered closed if you need a login. And if you happen to have pictures on it, well that's the same as a closed FB group. 

 

I find it ironic that parents don't want the troops to post their kid's faces on social media, but they do it all the time AND they tag the kids or not school location, etc. Or worse, they have his full name in the news paper.

 

Back Pack is right, if you want to find someone on the net just look at the parent's FB feeds.

Edited by Col. Flagg

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This is an unusual situation but I've seen where a parent doesn't want their children's photos online. In this case it was because the dad was stalking and threatening violence. Mom was scared enough that a restraining order was not enough. I'm not saying it happens often, but just that there are reasons.

 

On another topic, I've noticed FB will automatically ask if you want certain people tagged. It's doing face recognition, knows who a person is in a photo, and asks you if you want that person tagged. What I don't know is who gets those messages. I see them for pictures that I don't post. My guess is that they are only friends of mine so it shouldn't be an issue, but with facebook I never know.

 

We don't use facebook. We use our own website and just load tons of photos on it. The photos are public (we asked the parents).

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I've only experienced one parent (while a cub scout) who would not sign the photo release form. There was a valid reason.

No problem. We did not post pictures of the unit anywhere except on prints for the B&G banquet. Camp didn't take any pictures. (I'm not sure if it was of our site, or just none for that session.)

 

The old troop would post links to photo albums. But, I think by the time he crossed over the one boy's issues were resolved. Still, nobody was tagged. The older boys certainly did tag one another on FB during their camp shenanigans.

When one of our scouts died tragically, the parents asked that all of us to tag him on FB photos so that attention could be drawn to a scholarship set up in his name.

 

With the crew, I am pretty loose.  It's the youth's to run. We use a private E-mail list for communications. We do have a website, and I try to at least get youths' consent to share photos on it. We don't post full names.

 

Still, I steer them toward hard-copy presentations. Nowadays, they are so rare, that we actually get a lot of attention from those sorts of things. Same rules apply: i.e., get the youth's permission before using their picture in a poster.

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On another topic, I've noticed FB will automatically ask if you want certain people tagged. It's doing face recognition, knows who a person is in a photo, and asks you if you want that person tagged. What I don't know is who gets those messages. I see them for pictures that I don't post. My guess is that they are only friends of mine so it shouldn't be an issue, but with facebook I never know.

 

I knew FB had facial recognition software. I didn't think it could recognize a face specifically as @@MattR...not without someone saying who it is. Can it really recognize a specific person? 

Edited by Col. Flagg

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Anyone have a unit that refrains from posting pictures of the kids on social media because of privacy concerns for the children?  Or is it not even a thought?  With all the Youth Protection Training and Cyber Chip training the BSA pushes, you'd think that posting photos of minors on social media like facebook, which 1. has to be public to comply with YPT so anyone and everyone in the world can see the photos and 2. subjects the boys to facial recognition software, identity theft, etc.... using facebook to share photos of the boys would be discouraged, or at least require parental consent.  Thoughts? 

 

Well, the parents give consent on the Parts A and B of the medical form. 

 

 

I also hereby assign and grant to the local council and the Boy Scouts of America,
as well as their authorized representatives, the right and permission to use and
publish the photographs/film/videotapes/electronic representations and/or sound
recordings made of me or my child at all Scouting activities, and I hereby release
the Boy Scouts of America, the local council, the activity coordinators, and all
employees, volunteers, related parties, or other organizations associated with
the activity from any and all liability from such use and publication. I further
authorize the reproduction, sale, copyright, exhibit, broadcast, electronic storage,
and/or distribution of said photographs/film/videotapes/electronic representations
and/or sound recordings without limitation at the discretion of the BSA, and I
specifically waive any right to any compensation I may have for any of the foregoing.

 

 

Now, they can make exceptions, but it should be made explicit. We haven't had any problems, but if a parent requested, we would take their pictures down (or not put any up) of their Scout. 

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A recent death in the family required a search for a long lost next of kin for this homeless man.  We knew he had a son who he had only seen a couple of times.  As son he was the legal next of kin.  It took me only 10 minutes to find him, his wife and his 2 children in a state half way across the country.  If someone knows the photo of a scout unit is from a particular "place" he can readily find out the names of those in it even when not tagged.  A casual search of the text will reveal the names of those in the troop, where the troop is, where it goes for activities, etc.

 

I do not use any social media when dealing with any youth organization.  PERIOD!

 

My ASM who deals with activities uses direct emails only.

  • Upvote 1

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@@Stosh, you can have someone hang around your unit any time and get names, locations, school info, etc. Social media makes it easier, but is someone wants to get the info they can.

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@@Stosh, you can have someone hang around your unit any time and get names, locations, school info, etc. Social media makes it easier, but is someone wants to get the info they can.

 

Agreed. On other hand it is a great tool for publicity. We have a website, public facebook page, a closed facebook group for leaders and parents and a twitter feed.

 

We're heading to an era where if you aren't on the internet you don't exist.

  • Upvote 1

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Agreed. On other hand it is a great tool for publicity. We have a website, public facebook page, a closed facebook group for leaders and parents and a twitter feed.

 

We're heading to an era where if you aren't on the internet you don't exist.

 

I hated FB. I only just got on three years ago. Our unit wasn't on but we developed a page. It is now one of the most trafficked pages in our area, let alone for Scouts. If you google our area we are the first troop that shows up in the search engine. Just by knowing how google and FB engines work, you can really raise the awareness of your group. Pictures are limited and chosen carefully. 

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