Every now and then I notice some Odd Activity on my Flickr account. There’s a page where you can see activity over the last X amount of time, including comments on photos, notes, and who may have add what photo as a favorite. It’s the last function that sometimes reveals weird results, like when a photo gets favorited that I posted months and months ago. If it’s a photo of, say, the moon, or a flower or whatever, I don’t think twice about it, but every now and then the photo is something just sort of—well, the other day someone favorited a photo of me wearing knitted slippers. No big deal, except it seemed a little odd, and when I looked at the person’s account they had no photos of their own (FLAG), their name was something like pxy205m (FLAG FLAG), and when I looked at their favorites page, every single photo was of a woman wearing knitted slippers (FLAG FLAG FLAG WTF).

I guess in that instance someone could have been collecting inspirational photos for their big slipper-knitting project of 2007, or something. There have been others, though, where the circumstances are the same—weird user name, no photos of their own—and the photos they’ve collected are all clearly fetishy in some way. Feet, for instance. Or boobies. Not that I post pictures of my boobs on Flickr, but you know, sometimes they are just Present and Accounted For.

This kind of stuff mostly makes me shrug—whatever gets your rocks off, you know? If slippers are your thing, fine. Have at it. But. BUT. This morning I found that someone had favorited an old photo of Riley, one I’d taken during the summer where he’s viewed from the back playing with a hula hoop. He’s also naked, with his little butt completely visible.

I took a look at this person’s account (no photos of their own, natch) and here are the photos they’ve collected. All little kids, all in various stages of undress. Little boys, specifically. I might have been convinced that this person just liked colorful candid native kid-focused scenery if he hadn’t added my son’s blindingly white suburban butt to the page.

I don’t know how this person found the photo of Riley because I don’t tend to tag things, I certainly wouldn’t have added some descriptors like “NAKED HEINIE” or “PED0PHILES WELCOME”. Maybe they just stumbled across it, maybe they spent a lot of time going through my son’s photos looking for a naked one.

Either way: fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. Someone slobbering over my feet? No big deal. Someone slobbering over my son? VERY. BIG. DEAL.

I deleted the photo, but the whole thing has given me the heebs. I mean, one thing I can do is never post a picture of him unless he’s fully dressed—how sad is that, that innocent pictures of babies should be censored? I could limit photo viewing to friends and family. I could stop posting any kid photos on Flickr and just use that site for documenting my thrilling fashion choices. Which would be so, so lame. I love looking at family photos from the people I follow on Flickr, and I love sharing pictures of my own family.

I suppose I’ve been kind of naive, assuming everyone that looks at the snippets from our lives is doing so with good intentions. Or if not good intentions, at least not sweaty, creepy intentions.

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Carolyn
15 years ago

I agree with everyone above who said that’s it’s disturbing, creepy, etc. There are indeed many, many sick people in the world and they all seem to have access to the internet. (I guess those who don’t are still flashing people in subway stations–old-school pervs.)

I really enjoy seeing photos of my favorite writers’ children. I love a visual aid, if you will, when I’m reading a cute anecdote. However, (and this is said with the utmost respect toward you and a lot of other fantastic writers on the ‘net,) when you’re putting photos up in the most public of forums, there must be some assumption of risk that the wrong person will see them. In a perfect world, only fellow parents who enjoy reading of Riley’s adventures, family members and close friends with no ulterior motives whatsoever would view the pictures. Sadly, this is a far from perfect world, and there are those who would view an adorable picture as the one you posted with less than honorable intentions. It would be nice if you could post any picture you wanted without worrying about some creep looking at it, but I just don’t think that’s the case.

I’m super-paranoid, admittedly, so I don’t post any photos at all of my children online. I just think with something as vast and anonymous as the internet, you can’t be too careful.

All that said, he seems like a great kid who’s lots of fun, with fantastic parents. :)

Sam
Sam
15 years ago

That motherfunking stinks. You did the best thing possible. I’m glad you deleted that photo. That being said, does anyone notice that the creepy and depressing things in life comes out so often in the November blogging period? this weather blows.

Elisha
Elisha
15 years ago

OMG! I’m so sorry to hear about this. What a freak!

I really enjoying looking at your beautiful photos and don’t want you to stop posting them.

Chloe
15 years ago

Wow, I’d agree. That is terrifying and horrible!

The internet is so crazy. I have a lot of info online (especially at the old blog, which I’ve mostly stopped posting to), but as I get older, I’m getting more and more paranoid. And I don’t even have kids yet.
I recentlly joined a forum about long hair– nothing kinky about it, it’s mostly tips for how to keep your hair healthy while your growing, hair-safe accesories, etc. I would say at least 95% of the women (although there are a few men, they generally seem less concerned) don’t have any pictures of their faces. They also have a lot of rules in effect for new posters– no private messages until you have at least 25 “quality” posts, you can’t view other people’s photo journals (which have tutorials on hair styles, and I guess of their faces– I haven’t been there long enough to know) until you have 100 quality posts and have been a member 60 days, etc. There’s very strict rules because there are a TON of fetishts out there focused on long hair or women with long hair getting their hair cut forcefully, etc. I know some women do post pictures of their children (only hair pictures, or style tutorials), but I won’t even post my face on the public areas. I strongly debated over whether I should post my location or not, even though I live in a big city. Which is pretty paranoid, cause my hair is only shoulder length right now!

Argh, end long mostly-unrelated area. I would think about keeping Riley’s picture as “contact only”, at least if he’s at all undressed in them. Another solution would be just to check periodically to see if anyone (with flags) is favoriting his pictures, and blocking them. It’s sort of reactionary, but maybe that would stop most of the problem without having to be super duper careful, and still having the freedom to post what you want to your blog.
I hope you can figure out what to do– and I’m so sorry this has happened to you.

andrea
15 years ago

So icky. I’ve taken the time to make a lot of our photos private, but there are still some out there that seem to draw many more views than others and unfortunately I can only assume why that is.

Can you tell me how to check and see who has made photos favorites. I just spent the last 15 minutes trying to figure it out and must be brain dead today.

Kristie
15 years ago

That person no longer has an account. Odd…yes. I wanted to post a few pictures of my almot 10 month old crawling around the house naked (who doesn’t love a naked baby butt) but I changed my mind. I didn’t want some perve salivating over him.

I’ve also had some of my Flicr photos added as favorites. Especially ones with my feet in the picture. Weird.

Josh
15 years ago

Not cool. Not cool at all. At least you caught it. I know waaaaaay too many people who have suffered through shit like that as kids. Seriously, an astounding percentage of my friends throughout life. People I really care about. I’d straight up kill a mother fucker if I ever found out they were a pedo. No bull shit law to screw up the justice. Fuck the police. No judges. No lawyers. Only one solution. Not fucking cool. Gahhh, now I’m all skeeved out. I’m going to go shower to get this post off of me. Take care Sundry. And sorry that ass holes on the internet are ruining your good clean interaction. Life’s a bitch aint it?

ollka
15 years ago

Fortunately, the creep has been removed from Flickr. There are, of course, cases where the person’s intention is nothing but innocent (I mean, baby pictures are sweet, belly pictures are inspirational etc.) – but this doesn’t seem to have been the case. I’m so sorry, Linda. This kind of thing shouldn’t happen.

shal
shal
15 years ago

Ugh. I stopped using flickr because it creeped me out when all the rest of my photos had been viewed 5 or 6 times, but the photo of my naked son had been viewed HUNDREDS of times. I LOVE viewing your photos on flickr, but I would understand if you decided to pull all pictures of your kids from there.

kristin
kristin
15 years ago

that dude isn’t active on flickr anymore…just checked.

CREEEEEE——-PY!

Jennifer
15 years ago

BLARGH! Every day something happens that causes me to wonder, “What the effing F is wrong with people!?” I can’t believe someone would have the balls to do something like this knowing that the owner of the pictures can easily find out whose been rooting around in their stuff. GOD! Blood. Boiling.

I’m sorry this happened to you. I love your blog and the pictures you share with us.

I have a confession! I left a comment on your latest maternity pic and am one of those with no pictures! I’m still figuring out my snappy new camera and I swear I’m not a pervert/weirdo/nutbag!

Heather
15 years ago

I’m so sorry that happened to you :-( There are so many weirdos on Flickr. I don’t have kids of my own, but if I ever do post of my friends’ kids or anything, it’s always F&F. It sucks, because there’s people like me, who are still mostly normal (!) who love seeing adorable kid pictures, but we understand that it’s not worth it to put your kids at risk.

Amy / Girl's Life
15 years ago

I’ve had the same thing happen to me on Flickr–some creep favoriting my photos and then only having creepy porn photos in his own favorites. Ick. I have struggled for a long time with how to deal with this, too, since I also use Sophia’s real name in my stream and on my blogs. I guess I’m just too trusting that people find me because they are parents going through the same stuff. But when stuff like that happens, it always makes me stop and think about going Friends and Family or doing the kid nickname on the blog. I don’t know why I haven’t gone that route yet–I guess I still just want to believe that people are generally OK.

But just a suggestion – you can totally block ANY user on Flickr. If people favorite me and they have no photos of their own, I block them every time, even if they have a normal screen name. It doesn’t stop them from looking, I don’t think. It just makes it so they can’t add your photos as faves or you as a contact.

Good luck with the hard decisions. I’m right there with you.

Josh
15 years ago

I had to come back and say one more thing, because this has been bugging me since I read your post. (and forgive me if I am repeating other people comments, I can’t go through and read them all because it gets me too upset to think about it) You should absolutely be wicked careful online with photos of yourself and your family, and private information. Obviously there are predators out there, everyone knows that, and it is good that everyone knows that. I mean, the only reason I don’t hate that douche from “To Catch a Predator” is because he actually is doing a very good thing, even if it is shamefully voyeuristic and sensational-istic. (? wtf is that word)

But even knowing what sort of creeps and pervs are lurking about and enjoying the anonymity, almost every experience I have ever had with interacting with people online has been a good one. I have had activists flip out on me, I have had trolls come looking for a fight, I’ve been called everything from a cock sucker to a sackless piece of shit sadist. And none of that really bothers me because I know that that is part of humanity. There are just assholes out there looking to stir shit up. And I have even had my own real life encounters with pedophiles, rapists, and murderers, all trying to assault/rape/kill me. Life is tough. But you can’t let that ruin your outlook on all of humanity and all of our interactions with the world, internet or face-to-face. I may have a pretty pessimistic (realistic) view on life in general, and a lot of people piss me off, but I still believe that most people are inherently good, and you can’t let fucked up shit like this get you scared of the world. There are a lot more of us good people than there are bad ones, and if everyone is vigilant like you were, more and more often we will actually be able to use this anonymous media to catch perverts in stead of them using it to prey on their victims.

What I’m trying to say is, don’t let this one incident sour your attitude towards interacting with people online. It is a good and healthy thing that has frequently surprised me with beautiful friendships, and enriched my life a great deal. My life is better thanks to my e-friends, and I won’t let anyone take that away from me. And besides, you have an army of loyal readers who have your back! Not everyone has their own loyal army, and we love you Sundry. In a totally healthy and non-pervy way of course. But I wouldn’t object to some more of those knitted slipper pics! ;)

Mel
Mel
15 years ago

It saddened more than surprised me to read this entry. I wish there weren’t any perverts out there who would do such things. My husband lookss at your picturs and smiles when describing them to me and I hope “one bad apple” doesn’t ruin the whole photo sharing experience for you, although I don’t blame you for deleting the naked baby photograph.

Anne L.
Anne L.
15 years ago

Man, that sucks. With my first kid on the way, this makes me think twice about publicly posting any more pics on Flickr. Rats. I’m sorry that it happened to you.

jonniker
15 years ago

I really struggle with this a lot, because the whole online world is so … weird, and it’s hard for me to reconcile how the Internet is different from the real world.

Case in point: I’m a writer, and sometimes I write blog-like things for my job, and the circulation of my day-job writing is approximately 1.4 million times that of my blog traffic. And yet I don’t hesitate to put my first and last name all OVER that shit, photos and all, and yet I won’t reveal my last name on my blog. (Not that it’s impossible to figure out — nay, anyone could find it if they really looked hard enough, and the same is true for all of us, sadly.)

I don’t know why this is, other than the Internet, to some degree, attracts the heeby types, or at least gives them an OUTLET for such heebiness. I know the nuts are out there reading my stuff every day in my hometown, but for some reason, I’m less afraid of them.

This makes no sense, and I kind of rambled. I’m sorry. What I should have said is, I’m sorry this happened to you, and I love your pictures of Riley and the whole family. Love. I hate to think that kind of happiness would be spoiled because of a few bad apple assholes. But I do support whatever you decide, of COURSE.

Lesley
Lesley
15 years ago

pierpaolo2006 is no longer active on Flickr

Looks like Flickr removed the site (I hope because you reported it).

It’s probably a good idea in such circumstances to report the site to Interpol, cuz you never know. I can’t believe anyone collects pix of children with good intentions, especially when they do so without permission.

Canadian police forces have been able to find perpetrators in the flesh through sites like the one you mentioned. (I hope Flickr reported the site to the police and just didn’t take it down!)

P.S. You might want to make such photos accessible only to friends. It’s just not worth the aggravation and creepiness.

Danielle
15 years ago

I am soooo sorry this happened to you. It is awful when it happens to anyone. I always fear that some perp is out there looking at my daughter’s pics too. It creeps me out. If you didn’t already check, the person’s account is no longer active. Glad you reported that creep! I worked for CPS for 6 years, and saw this gross stuff a lot.

LauraH
15 years ago

Oh no, Linda. I’m sorry you’ve had your trust in people shaken in such a twisted and disgusting manner. I am also glad that person is gone from Flickr. I try/tried to live by a “live free or die…most people are good” motto, but it gets really hard sometimes. I don’t visit people’s flickr sites a lot because I am flickr inept and have no idea how to manuever around once I get there.

Janet
Janet
15 years ago

What is this world coming to?

How sad that someone can’t share precious baby pictures anymore without fear that some freakin’ pervert is going to get ahold of them. Yikes.

I have always enjoyed seeing pictures of your lovely family and would hate to miss out on seeing Riley and the new baby but if you decide to make your pictures private I would totally and completely undersdtand.

Maybe you can make your account private and just share pictures with those of us that love you guys??

Janet from Norhtern California

Lesley
Lesley
15 years ago

Hey Sundry, in privacy and permissions
http://www.flickr.com/account/?tab=privacy

you can prevent people from downloading, blogging, or printing your photos. I don’t see an option to prevent people from “favouriting” but maybe this is a suggestion for Flickr (i.e. enable you to turn it off and on at your will by photo).

Lesley
Lesley
15 years ago

Apologies for my multiple posts but check out this thread: “a number of people favoriting images who don’t have any photos posted themselves”

Annsy
Annsy
15 years ago

My husband deals with these people on a daily basis (the post-jail counseling side). He says you should definitely report the guy to the FBI (someone already posted the Innocent Images link on their site). They will be able to watch the guy’s IP for any trading of images, which would land him in jail.

As an occupational hazard, my husband has final say of anything that gets posted on the internet regarding our 10-month-old son. I worked really hard on editing a super cute video of him in the bathtub, and was set to upload it to youtube, and my husband thought I had lost my mind. I just forget that people are so disgusting.

Don’t even get my husband started on having the curtains open after dark….

Josh
15 years ago

And I forgot that I’m the only guy who comments on your blog. I just wanted to say that this sort of concern is not just for chicks. I mean, I can only imagine if one of my brothers ever has a kid, and some fucker ever creeps them out like this guy did to you. People will be going to prison, and that’s the end of that.

What did Flickr say? Are they tracking this guy down? Did you send the info to the police? Not that the police ever do anything worth while, but you never know. The police are like the justice lottery. You might win big and it won’t hurt to try. Except that you have to actually interact with the police. but still, I’d talk to a pig if it meant I might put an actual criminal behind bars. (hah, the idea is laughable)

What if you went to some of the bigger pigs, like the FBI, or Interpol. Maybe with a big enough pig community, they could pool their assets and catch one actually bad person. I mean, you will probably never find out who this dick is on your own, (unless you are wicked smart at computer codes and shit) and if you can’t find them, you can’t punish them.

So use the government to find out who they are and then pass on the responsibility (knowledge) to anyone/everyone in their area. (your blog) I’d bet that person would turn up missing. Of course all that hinges on the pigs being able to find their own asses in their seats. So good luck with that.

Josh
15 years ago

Ok, sorry about that last comment. I just get heated about all of this. It strikes a little too close to home for me. I’ve had to fight off rape. And I won, but so many that are close to me have not won. I would say probably 75% of my close friends over the years have been raped or molested and I am just sick of it all. I am so fucking sick of hearing about these fuckers and no one taking it into their own hands. I feel like the law does nothing. And I am not willing to accept nothing as my protection. I’m really not violent at all in real life, except when it comes to this sort of thing. You can’t hurt me and my kin/friends without any repercussions. This sick shit has to end. It needs to. I’ll be damned. But it needs to end. Now. Sorry Sundry, I didn’t mean to go all psycho and shit. My bad.

Cali911Gal
Cali911Gal
15 years ago

thankfully it looks like your complaint was dealt with swiftly.

The fuckwad’s account is no longer active.

I’m sorry you experienced this……now I’m wondering what creepo has helped themselves to pics of my grandkids off my myspace……sigh.

JMH
JMH
15 years ago

I teach a technology class to elementary children. One of the most important topics (IMHO) is Interent safety. Based on the classes and seminars that I have attended, I will never post pictures of my children in a public, online forum. The problem is that the Internet is not policed and it is international. Our government can only do so much. If this particular creep was from another country, there is not much you can do. My sister reads your blogs too, and we actually discussed this recently (would you post all of this info online?)Personally, I like Swistle’s idea of being anyonomous….but she still posts pics of her kids. It is all a personal choice and I respect what others choose. That being said, please be careful about posting too much information.
Also, MySpace and Facebook are BAD news. It would freak you out to hear about what happens to kids through those sites and it happens A LOT. I am sure you heard about the girl in PA and the fake boyfriend. That is just a drop in the bucket.

OK, I will get off of my soapbox now :)

robin
15 years ago

Similar thing happened to a pic of my boy it the tub…couldn’t see anything, but it had over 100 views so I now make all my photos of him friends and family.

It sucks, but like you said…there are risks everywhere. All you can do is what makes you feel comfortable. I just hope I am on your friends list if you do decide to go that way!

Jessamyn
15 years ago

Yeah, ugh. Whenever this has happened to me with photos of Katie (and it’s been at least 6 or 7 times, maybe more), the first thing I do is block the person who’s favorited the picture. If I’m leaving the picture up and public, then sure, they can find it again, but fuck me if I’m going to make it easy for them, allowing them to include my kid in their handy “favorites” page. If the picture has nudity in it, then I make it friends and family (I’ve started doing that now when I first upload them). I just refuse to take that shit DOWN if I had a reason for putting it up in the first place (sharing it with people who actually AREN’T pervs). (When I first started posting to Flickr it was just this little online place, not the huge thing it is now, and I foolishly DID tag everything – some bath pictures actually did have tags of “naked,” for instance – so I’ve removed all of those types of tags, too, because duh.) The whole thing is creepy, and disturbing, and ick. But I’m trying really hard not to let the assholes/mentally ill ruin the fun for the rest of us.

teralyne
teralyne
15 years ago

Good thing said creep-o does not have a flickr account, well not with that name anyway.

Amy
Amy
15 years ago

That person’s account is “no longer active”. I am skeeved out by any fetish that involves (or potentially involves) nonconsenting people, animals, etc. There’s no actual *risk* to Riley (and I think assuming there is creates its own dangers and unnecessary paranoias), I don’t think, but it’s definitely creepy. My sister had a picture with a friend’s little girl (who was naked), and we were joking that we should tag it “naked children” just to see how many views it got, because we KNEW there would be a flurry of creeps. We didn’t, of course.

Frannie
Frannie
15 years ago

Dude. Seriously, sometimes I worry about creepos (new shirt idea?) I don’t blog as often and I don’t post a huge amount of pictures as I’d like. I have the same concerns as you do. I think it’s great that you do share a lot about your life, you just have to be careful. I appreciate your humor and great photos though and don’t let it hinder that!

Jean
Jean
15 years ago

Nobody ever looks at my flickr photos, then suddenly one of my daughter’s naked butt got 28 views in one day. GROSS. I took that one off and have considered getting rid of flickr altogether. It’s sad.

Melissa
Melissa
15 years ago

Oh my God, that is frightening and yet not all that surprising to me. Good thing you reported him and the account is no longer active. And it’s good that you have been monitoring the activity on the pics in general. It’s so sad that you can’t post adorable pics like that for friends and family or those of us who appreciate them in an appropriate manner. I would lose my shit if I suspected that a pedophile or a creep was leering at pics of my daughter. I’m always keeping an eye on that watchdog site for the sexual offenders living in my area too…can’t be too safe with our kids.

I’m sorry you have to be worrying about this.

Donna
Donna
15 years ago

Josh, you remind me of another Joshua that used to have a blog and then stopped writing, (that I could find anyway) when his mom found it. He had the same experiences as you and I loved reading his blog.
People are freaks. So Linda, if you find out where this perv lives, and it’s anywhere close to one of your loyal readers, pony up the place, and it can be taken care of, in a sopranos kinda way. I’m sure we can make him an offer he can’t refuse. We got your back!

Vanda
15 years ago

Ugh, awful thing to have happen. At least they took you seriously and stopped the bas$%^d from having this account.

Good for you for reporting him.

Lindy
15 years ago

This post has just scared the bejeezus out of me. I post photos of Squidge ALL.THE.TIME it’s really the reason I blog- it’s about her and our life with her. I’m in the UK and my family is in the US so my blog is vital in keeping them up to date w/ her. What do you do? Stop blogging? Not post photos of her? Only have my blog open to family? Fucking freaks!

brewtal
brewtal
15 years ago

Hi Linda I just clicked on the link that you posted on your entry to see the pervert’s collection, and yippee yay, his Flickr account is no longer active. Did you report him or something? Or did he chicken out and change/delete his account I wonder. But in any case, I’m glad you took quick steps to delete Riley’s naked picture. I’d hate for anything similar to happen to my 2-yr-old too.

kalisah
15 years ago

your complaint must have worked since that account is no longer active. Good for you for taking some action.

It’s horrible. But thank god Flickr has some way of monitoring that. I mean, at least you’re able to see where someone has favorited your photo, so you can track it and report it where necessary.

I say, keep posting your photos (we love them!) and stay dilligent.

biscuit
biscuit
15 years ago

It’s really good you’ve been keeping a hawk eye on who + what has been favorited. Good mommy! Good for the perve losing his account too! He must have not realized Sundry rolls deep. . .

Formerly DDM (Sonia)
Formerly DDM (Sonia)
15 years ago

ACK! I’m so sorry!! I got my first taste of unsavory Flickr visitors in September. I got braces, and posted a couple of photos of me, tagged ‘brace face’. Within 24 hours, I had over 800 views of those two photos. And the commenters….*shudder*. Once I checked out some of their pages, I was aghast that there are fetishes involving braces!! I have since protected all of those photos so that only friends and family can see them. Same with our remodel photos, which for some strange reason I feel protective of.
Again, I’m so sorry that some creep-o favorited that pic of Riley and led you to discover his or her twisted page. ICK!

Formerly DDM (Sonia)
Formerly DDM (Sonia)
15 years ago

OH! And! I took a self portrait in the bathroom mirror of me, fully clothed. I had miscarried at 10 weeks along the previous week (this was in May)and noted in the description that it made me sad to see my baby belly with no baby there anymore. I got belly pervs ALL OVER that photo. I guess I am really naive when it comes to the fetish stuff!

Anais
15 years ago

0_o

That is so beyond disturbing, it gives me goosebumps.

She Likes Purple
15 years ago

I’ve been a bit behind and just read this and I’m totally creeped out for you. Truly.

Lori
Lori
15 years ago

Oh. MY. GOD.

Ew ew ew ew ew ew ew. I am so sorry, and so nauseated. My only sibling’s only child is 6 months older than Riley, and now I’m re-thinking the naked butt pictures I have posted of him.

God. People are so disgusting.

Kendra
Kendra
15 years ago

This makes me so sad. I clicked the link, though, and saw that that person’s account is gone. Good.

I’ve read you once or twice before, but I just ended up here again, read several entries, and laughed out loud a bunch, so…reading on!

Isabel
14 years ago

Holy shit.

That makes me sick.

wells fargo online
10 years ago

Are you going to any of the other Maniac reunions in the meantime?