Sunday, September 18, 2016

Your Opinion?

You've seen the picture.

Hi professor Robertson!!

I'm in a bit of a confusing situation and I thought maybe you could give me some advice... I want clarification about whether or not I was in the wrong. I took a photo of an elephant exhibit at a big carnival in my hometown. I went to Facebook and I posted this photo online to promote the mistreatment of elephants. In the photo, there are small children riding the elephant.
When I posted this photo to facebook it unexpectedly got a lot of shares and call to action posts to treat the elephants better. I then received a facebook message from one of the children's moms:

While I understand your plight and respect your opinion on animal rights I don't feel it's fair that you spread photos of young children on the Internet without parental consent. These three kiddos are mine and I feel you have violated their privacy by snapping a picture of their faces and spreading it on social media. You posted their picture without stopping to think if doing so may reveal their location to an estranged family member, possibly putting them in a precarious situation. I get you feel sorry for the animal, and again appreciate your argument, but perhaps you should think of how your case could be presented without identifying minors. I would appreciate it you could remove this photo from your post so my kids don't have to worry about people who shouldn't be looking for them. Thank you."

Am I in the wrong? I did not mean to harm anyone and my purpose for this post was to spread awareness of the elephant problem. But This photo was taken at a PUBLIC event with no journalistic purposes whatsoever. My only concern is that the children are not of age to consent, but would they need to consent if the photo is at a public place?

Here is the photo:


As you can see, the children's faces are barely visible...

Please let me know! I'd love anything you have to share.