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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Why I HATE People

alternate title : Just when I thought my estimation of mankind could not sink any lower

I got home from the dentist today and was all set to write something funny. It involved drool! I checked my email accounts and then went to my flickr account. I had sent the link to a friend (a real one, not imaginary!) who hasn't seen my kids in a while and wanted to see some photos. I was curious if she had looked at them yet.

I noticed that someone, who had a user name I didn't recognize, had added some of my photos to their favorites. It struck me as odd for several reasons: 1) They were not the sort of photos that someone would have an artistic interest in, 2) They were only of my daughter, and 3) Why do you want photos of some kid that you don't even know?

I thought it was odd when someone favorited my photos of the Wiggles, but I thought, 'Hey, whatever floats your boat' and really I just assumed that some parent did it to show their child, not some man who wanted to masturbate to a picture of Dorothy the Dinosaur. I might just be naive.

I went and viewed this person's photos and it was a fat old man who only had a handful of his own photos up. It gave me the creeps. I went and looked at the other photos he had favorited around flickr and they were all of little girls. Picture after picture of little girls.

Excuse me while I go vomit.

I had always thought there was a contingent of people who over reacted by not allowing their children's photos on the internet, but now I understand it a bit better. I have turned all my flickr photos to private while I decide what I am going to do. They should still be visible here where I have them in posts.

It was bad enough last week when Rob and I watched that Dateline show about the pedophiles. I spent the entire next day that I was at Home Depot wondering if every man I made eye contact with was eyeing my boys up as potential sex partners.

I am left sitting here thinking, What the fuck*? Is this really the world we live in?

*I just told blogger spell check to learn this word. I feel the urge to use it more.


Blogger jackabug said...

that's awful. I couldn't believe how many men showed up on that Dateline show. It's very scary.Jackie

4:27 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

That is honestly scarey! I got the chills after reading this. What a sicko, and OMG I didnt know people could favorite your Flickr photos! I have a flickr account but dont use it on my blog, goes to show how much I paid attention. I think I am going to delete mine now. Does make you stop and think about posting our children all over the web. Its a scarey and sick world out there!

4:32 PM  
Blogger S'te said...

That is very scary. I think you should e-mail Flickr and let them know. I also think you can restrict certain users from your account. Would definetly tell FLickr though. I'm sure that is not the porpose they intended it to be used for. SICK I tell ya.

4:33 PM  
Blogger falwyn said...

I'm so sorry. I can't understand why some people suck. Thanks for sharing though, as it's definitely something for me to consider for me and mine as well.

4:34 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Just yesterday some guy added me to his flickr favorites list. I went to look and he had only one, very pornographic picture posted. Gross.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Libragirl said...

That's creepy. My flikr site is private, family and friends only. But the idea is just beyond creppy. If possible, you need to report it to flikr and whoever his webhost is.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

You can make it so that only people you have marked as friends or family (in your contacts list) can see your pictures. That's what we have done.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Liz said...

The vast majority of our flickr photos are private as well... flickr is sort of unknown territory because you can't really track who exactly is looking at your photos... unless they blatantly favorite something like they did with your daughters photos.

I couldn't watch the Dateline show. It's shaken my sheltered view of the world to the point where me, the most non- and anti-violent person, has contemplated going to wal*mart to buy a rifle and blow some perves crotches right off.


5:20 PM  
Anonymous Denise said...

That makes me want to cry. If it happened to us, my husband would go nuts. He would literally try to find out where the sicko lived. And blow his perverted head off. I am so sorry this happened to you. Thank you so much for reminding us how much our children need constant protection.

5:24 PM  
Blogger The Green Family said...

I saw that dateline show too...scared me to death! I would be insane if some weirdo had my little ones pictures. Makes me think twice about putting their pics. on my blog.

5:50 PM  
Blogger novaks8 said...

oh my God.

That is awful.

I'm going to make mine for friends only.

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Carla said...

Hey, ive been reading your site for a while but have never actually commented. This post disturbs me. I wondered if you'd ever considered installing your own gallery - coppermine for example is free and you can have people register to view. That way it would be a lot more stable and easier for you to control / moderate who is viewing your pictures. Just a suggestion.

6:12 PM  
Blogger 4 girls and 3 boys said...

Oh that is horrible. My photos are public to. It makes me feel sick to think what perverts do. I think I will change mine to private to.

6:24 PM  
Blogger B.E.C.K. said...

On Flickr, you can make certain photos accessible to friends and/or family, then make certain contacts friends and/or family so they can view these photos. (For instance, I have you categorized as a friend because I read your blog and I feel like I know more or less what you're about.) Also, you can block certain users from viewing anything in your account. I have done both. I keep tabs on who is favoriting my photos, and I wait a while before making a contact a "friend." In the past, before I started monitoring this, a man favorited some photos of my son and I discovered that the bulk of his favorited photos were pics of young boys, oftentimes naked (like Balinese [sp?] kids playing in the rain or something). I notified the Flickr folks and their "helpful" reply was that it isn't illegal for someone to fave photos of kids. ??? Well, duh! But I'd told them to look at the guy's collection of faves (and noted that the guy had posted only one or two photos of himself in his photostream). Basically, I found Flickr management to be unhelpful in this regard, so I started monitoring my photos more closely. Now I allow only friends and/or family to see photos of my son's face, unless the photo is blurry. I'm not worried about someone abducting my son after viewing his Flickr photos, but I've known of other people whose kids' photos were faved by perverts (verified by the emails they sent describing things), and the idea of someone using a photo of my son to get off absolutely disgusts me. I actually haven't posted any photos on my Flickr account since November 2005 because I switched computers and haven't gotten around to loading my photo software; nevertheless, I no longer feel an urgent need to do this. It's a crazy world, and we just have to do what we think is best. Clearly you're doing that. I'm sorry that you had this experience. It definitely is shocking when one first encounters it.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Earth Girl said...

I am so sorry this happened.

7:53 PM  
Blogger blackbird said...

De-lurking to say that I very very very nearly emailed you to ask you to mark those photos as private the other day...
then I thought that I just might be paranoid.

I guess not.

I'm so sorry.

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Ellen said...

I'm an infrequent commenter also. I'm also pretty trusting. Thanks for following up on what was going on with your photos and making that information public. Looks like quite a few moms are benefitting from this warning.
So sad, so vile.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Kimmy said...

Just visiting from novaks8 to read your post. O.M.G. That is disgusting!

I just finished watching the Dateline show from last week (thank you DVR!). It made me sick and have considered removing all pics of my son from my blog.

I can't believe your flicker experience. That is nasty. I wish there was a way to turn that nasty fat old man. I'm sorry that happened to you. But am glad you took the appropriate measures. And thanks for sharing your experience. We all have that "it won't happen to me" gene. Definitely a lot to think about!

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

EWWWWW....I'm sooo sorry this happened to you!

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Melissa said...

That is scary. I was just condsidering posting a few new ones of my girls on my site. Now I think I will wait. There are seriously sick people out there. I agree with what others said about telling Flicker. I think they could at the least block him. By the way, how are your teeth?

9:00 PM  
Blogger Chaos said...

I would call and report him to the police - they have taskforces to investigate that sort of thing...

9:22 PM  
Blogger Bossy♥'s YOU said...

I never thought about it, but holy crap your right...that is there some way you can report him?..

10:01 PM  
Blogger Bossy♥'s YOU said...

I never thought about it, but holy crap your right...that is there some way you can report him?..

10:01 PM  
Blogger TBG said...

Oh my Chris that is disturbing! What the fuck is wrong with people I will never understand!

A site I used to read changed all their information and moved it to another site not using their real names because of some pervert in her town accessing her flickr site!

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Tay said...

Jesus. That is completely horrible and evil. I'm sorry.

It just makes me want to take a shower for a few days. I can't believe how fucking messed up people can be.

11:06 PM  
Blogger harvestmoon said...

I'm of two minds on this. I definitely identify with the "ick" factor; I get so very many hits on my website for a photo called "bathgirls" that involves absolutely NO nudity and the light was so low that everything was blurry that I finally deleted the picture. Just cause.

On the other hand, there are people who can photoshop anything onto any picture, so it really doesn't matter what kind of picture you post, anyone can do whatever with it. So really, there is no control.

I post pictures at Flickr so my family and friends can share them. I also am using Flickr as my picture hosting for pictures I post on my blog mainly due to the wonderful Flickr/Word Press plugin that makes it so nice and easy to insert pictures into a WordPress blog. So there's that. I'm still cleaning up pictures from Typepad and moving them to Flickr so I'll be damned if I move them again. I suppose I can make everything private, but then all my relatives would have to get Flickr accounts to see the pictures and that ain't happening. Especially 96 year old Maca.

So, I close a blind eye to the pervs and concentrate on my relatives checking out the kids.

I'm sorry this happened to you. Is there any way to unfavorite the pic? How about deleting it from Flickr and uploading it with a new name, etc.?

12:15 AM  
Anonymous Jamie said...

I'm so sorry. That would totally freak me out. It's sad that we have to even worry about sick things like that. I have conflicting thoughts about family pics on my blog and Flickr acct.

12:19 AM  
Blogger deputyswife said...

First off, it makes me sick to think of the perverts out in the world now.

Secondly, one the comments said to contact the authorities. I just asked the Deputy. He said the Feds have a task force specifically set up for internet pedophiles. While sicko ugly man has done nothing illegal by adding your daughter's picture, his account does draw a red flag because of his preferences for photos. The Deputy said to contact your local authorities to point you in the right direction. They may even have their own task force.

Good luck to you.

12:48 AM  
Blogger Brandy said...

I have been a lurker of your blog for a while now, as well as a new fan. I am so sorry to hear about this awful situation. Please do whatever you feel is necessary to protect your family.

1:02 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

It is scary but not surprising. I am amazed at the number of people who put their children's photos out on the internet. Even worse, they have their location or other personal id info listed. There are strange friggin people out there, it sucks but it's reality.

1:48 AM  
Blogger owlhaven said...

That stinks. Make me not want to post pictures....

1:50 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Darling said...

I dont have a flicker account but people come to my blog through googling images for family life and such. I was just checking out one of those links tonight and there sat my son on his bike right smack in the middle of a bunch of other googled images. It's uncomfortable. I'm never sure what to do. Using pics on websites is so much fun but what if? The what if is too scary to contemplate. I have a lot of problem with trolls on my weblog. The other day one said something about turning me into the state. I have nothing to hide but still thats scarey stuff when you know you have pics posted right there for the troll to look at. Sometimes things like that make me feel like pulling out of blogging altogether. In september I will have blogged for three years. Maybe it's time to reassess things.

1:53 AM  
Anonymous lesli said...

I'm sorry but not surprised to hear this. My job pre-stay-at-home was in the computer industry, and as we were always aware of security issues etc., that made me hyper-aware of internet issues. I've recently found your blog, which I really enjoy reading (only 3 kids for me (for now!)), but I like to read your take on things, and encourage you (without sounding like a kook myself) to make sure you have no identifying references out here. Doesn't it stink? But you never know who is reading, or in this case, looking. Sickos, unfortunately, seem to abound on the internet.

1:54 AM  
Anonymous Karnak said...

Hi Chris

My daughter's school when they launched a website never put up photos becase of that reason. Thye also never named children with their full names of personal and family name.

Most people who look at your blog would be decent and honourable. However you do get perverts and you get them anyhere. I would report the man and to be honest I would make your photso at Flikr only available to family and known friends.

In Australia, World Vision had a sexual predator sponsoring children and then visiting them. Since then World Vision has become more vigilant. Several years ago my daughter's school had a young man exposing himself so you have to be wary in all parts of your life not just the internet.

Please not give your blog just because of one nasty incident as you have many faithful readers like myself who do enjoy your blog entries.

1:58 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Oh, that's really scary and very sick. That's the one thing about the internet that freaks me out. How many sick, sad little men are out there doing this very thing? At any rate, I'm really sorry about all this. It must have just made your blood boil.

2:50 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Oh Chris, that's just so awful. I've always been ambivalent about posting pics on my on-again off-again public blogs but I came down against it a few months ago, because of this kind of thing. Once you put those pics up there you just have no control over what they get used for. It's sick, and sad, and it makes me really angry. I'm so sorry you had to go through all this, it must feel like such a violation.

3:15 AM  
Blogger The Daring One said...

That is freaky. This is why I switched most of my flickr photos to semi-private, viewable only by family members. Yuck! I'm sorry about that.

4:08 AM  
Blogger KatieButler said...

I'm so sorry you had to deal with this--I cannot imagine how disturbing that must have been. We just saw that Dateline the other night and it made me feel physically ill. After a certain point, I told my husband to turn it off because I couldn't stand it anymore.

7:59 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

that is terrible! i am so sorry, chris. what an awful feeling.
i wonder if you can report him so he doesn't download anyone else's family pics. at least to flickr?

9:13 AM  
Blogger Jody said...

Oh gross! Ick and everything else. Blek too.

I am sorry that this has happened to you. It really stinks to feel so violated. That is why I moved my site from Typepad. It was just horrifying.

Having said that, I am marked as a "friend" and none of your photos are showing. Did you decide to go private? I honestly do not blame you and am considering it myself after this.

Hugs to you today!

9:56 AM  
Blogger dakotablueeyes said...

OMG I think i should edit my settings on flickr that's just nasty what people do now days.

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Sue Belrose said...

I just finished reading your whole post after asking to be included. I am so sorry about what happened. I have 2 beautiful,(if I may boast) grandchildren. I wouldn't want their photos noticed and/or used by anyone I didn't know, let alone that guy. I understand your concern and caution. If you decide you don't want me to have access, I understand.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Sue Belrose said...

Somehow my first post didn't make it requesting to be added. I keep having these 50"s moments. LOL I usually sign elismsue as my user name. Elijah, my grandson, calls me "M". I'd love to be added, yet understand your concern.


1:56 PM  
Blogger Melora said...

So sorry about what that creep did. I've clicked through some of your pictures a few times (your kids are really cute & you take good pics), but I never saw any that I would have thought might be "provocative." By that, of course, I'm only judging by my own naive guidelines -- I've told my kids that we can only post pictures where everyone is fully clothed. I didn't see the Nightline show, and now I'm thinking that I need to be even more careful about the pictures I post.
Anyway, I know this is terribly upsetting, and I'm sorry it happened!

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Tammie said...

SICKO! I would like to say that I can't believe someone would do such a thing, but nowadays, nothing surprises me. I would definately contact that authorities and do whatever you can to "put the heat" on this nutbag.
I am so sorry that this happened to you. Please keep up the journal and do what you need to do to keep your family safe.
Take care, your loyal readers are here for you!

3:11 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

OMG how freaking creepy. That just gave me the chills. There are some real sickos in this world.

4:32 PM  
Blogger eko said...

OMG, so fucked up!
I decided about a month ago to do the same - no more public postings of my children at flickr. One of the reasons I left fotolog was because of all the perverts showing up, blatantly, and nothing every being done about them. Or they just came in faster than rabbits and fotolog couldn't keep up.

HUGS - I am SO sorry and sickened for you...

4:38 PM  
Blogger InterstellarLass said...

Is there any way we can track this guy down and go beat the shit out of him? I don't care how damn old he is. Any man that does this is just deserving to be beaten beyond recognition. I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. People suck. Bad people suck.

6:08 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

Oh Chris :( How awful. This made me sick to read. I am always scared of this very thing.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Anne said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Tracy said...

I'm so paranoid that when I started my own blog and family website a couple of years ago, I created both of them with a webpage program and put them on our server, password protected and only share the web address and login/password info with family and friends. I also have the pages marked and track any access that way: location, browser and IP address, dates/times/length time of anyone who accesses my pages. Sometimes I wonder if I'm a little *too* paranoid and I'd certainly like to share my pages with more people (I'm proud of them, they're my first attempts at web design and sort of like my own online scrapbook ;-) ) but then I hear stories like this and the one about sickos collecting pics of cloth-diapered babies on WAHM diaper sites for an adult diaper fetish website and it makes me feel physically ill. So, a paranoid I will remain. At least where my kids are concerned. :-( The last city we lived in, there were reports ALL THE TIME of children being nabbed and assaulted (one right out of the foyer of his apartment building) and yet people thought I was nuts that I didn't let my little 7 y.o. dd walk across the street to school alone. I was a nervous wreck just letting her go to school at all (children have been assaulted in the school restrooms, even, by people who don't even belong in the school) but homeschool is illegal here. She's 8.5 now and we since we moved are no longer sending her to school and fighting the authorities on it (and possibly fines, court and the police), but that's another story. One of my main reasons for not sending her to school though, is because children just are not protected enough.

Anyway, sorry to go on. This subject really hits a nerve for a parent, doesn't it? Chris, your kids are precious and, quite frankly, I'm relieved you're going to put their pics under lock and key. I hope you'll allow my dh and me to continue looking at your family pics (and our kids, too ;-) ). I've e-mailed you my webpage info if that will make it more of a "fair trade." If not, I understand. I'm glad you're willing to share your wonderful blog!

Tracy in Heidelberg

10:06 AM  
Anonymous nabbalicious said...

Oh, wow. I'm just getting caught up, and my mouth is hanging open. I'm so sorry. I definitely don't think you're being too cautious about any of this! That is seriously scary.

10:22 AM  
Blogger Darren said...

Shudder. Good call, Chris.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so so *so* disgusting and scary. i'm sorry you had to come into contact with one of the most disturbing and evil parts of the human race. i don't blame you for keeping the photos private. what a bastard.

5:21 PM  
Blogger Zara's Mama said...

Oh my oh my..
My hubby has been very against me posting my daugther's or our faces on the blog.. now I know why.. such things do happen, there are just so many weirdos our there.

4:10 AM  
Blogger Scholiast said...

I guess that's why my hubby won't let me post photos of our kids on my blog... I've been arguing a blog isn't really that easy a target, but the mere thought of experiencing what you just did..!

There really are so many sick people in the world. I think I prefer just not to think about it, I hide my head in the sand like a good ostrich...

2:32 PM  
Blogger veronica said...

thank you for the heads up.
that is serious sickness.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Ms. Mamma said...

Definitely enough to make you sick. Someone sent me a link to

This shows you all(maps it out) the registered sex offenders around you according to your address. It even breaks offenses down between those commited against children and adults. Pretty scary, indeed.

11:27 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Glad I came across your blog and saw this. I am on my way to turn my account to private! Thanks!

12:42 PM  
Blogger Bridgermama said...

Ick! Wow, I was going to open a flicker account to post on my blog. Now there is absolutely no way. I am sorry you had to go through such a gut-wrenching experience!

10:38 PM  
Blogger Laura K. said...

I'm right there with you... check my blog for my story. I started to mark my son's photos as well. This person told people that my son was her son.. very creepy. Then I looked up the sex offenders living closest to my mom's in the USA and ironically, they are all sickos who did something to small BOYS. I thought most pervies liked little girls and that my son was somehow more safe being a boy and all.. well he isn't.. and life sucks ass.. really. I feel your pain.

6:57 PM  
Blogger Virenda said...

That is sickening and I'm sorry you had to expierence that. I personally make sure that all my kids (3 girls) photos are private, because it scares me.

Unfortunaetly though we can't change or KILL those people who are out there, not just online but next store.

I posted a few pics online (blog) and it's to worry me now. ~sigh~

My stomach hurts....

Thanks for posting about it...

1:14 PM  
Blogger Cityslicker Mom said...

that is so sick. I am one of those "overreacting" parents who never wants to post my kids' photos on the internet, so now i feel justified! im glad you caught that before something got out of hand!!

1:05 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

Hi--interesting that I happened upon your link...I have been obsessing about the Dateline/online predator thing, then Oprah had a show with a kid who ended up involved in an online porno ring. I have been absolutely CRAZED with worry over the state of the world that our babies are faced with!

My son is 8, and I shudder to think of some pervert slathering over him.

You've got a GREAT blog; I, too, am a "hip" mama (unfortunately, I seem to grow less cool by the day. Sigh.), and I can't wait to check out some of your links!

Nice meeting you!

8:29 PM  
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4:10 AM  

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