In case you haven’t heard yet, Babble was accused of lifting kid pictures from FlickR and using them for several articles over the past few months. The call-to-action went out and the blogosphere responded. Sweet Juniper, one of the all-time best-written and most-beloved parent blogging sites headed up the campaign (he found a picture of his daughter used without permission on Babble’s front page earlier this month).
Posting pictures of my children on the Internet makes me jumpy and nervous (which is why I do not use FlickR) and someone using these pictures without my permission gives me hives. So I’m sympathetic to those folks who found their kids pictured on Babble. If I didn’t write for Babble, didn’t believe that it was an honest mistake on the part of a photo assistant somewhere in an office building in New York, I’d have joined right in (I have plenty of Mommy Lioness wrath to share). But I believe it was an error. I do not believe it was a terrible abuse of power on behalf of a heartless corporation.
People like me love David and Goliath stories (especially when we get to be David). It is our duty as parents to defend and fight and insure that our beautiful little people aren’t used and abused. But what I want to know is this… Will these parents accept Babble’s apology? Even though every single picture has been taken down.. even though FlickR abuse isn’t new to Web 2.0. If you read the comments on SJ’s flickR page, it seems the answer is a resounding ‘No!”
It may be fun to imagine Babble is a faceless corporation full of insensitive louts who like to steal pictures from your personal family album. But I’ll tell you, Babble is parents like me.. like you… writing and sharing our stories and wanting to make parenting a less lonely, much more amusing job.
Babble has now put safe-guards in place to make sure this sort of thing never happens again… But clearly, that’s just not good enough.