‘All pics of naked kids are porn’, warns the NPA

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The culmination of Child Protection Week in SA included a stern warning to parents from the National Prosecuting Authority, according to EWN. In an open meeting on Sunday, the NPA reminded parents that pictures of naked children are considered child pornography, and that should parents upload pictures of their children without clothing to social media sites, they may face prosecution.

Watch: Expert confirms that posting naked pictures of your children online is illegal

No kids on social media, please.


While many parents upload photos of their kids to Facebook or Instagram, the NPA cautioned against this- including pictures of their children clothed.

A spokesperson at the event said that any picture of a naked child, even a baby, is considered child pornography, and that regardless of the innocent intent of the parent, other people on the internet may abuse such imagery.

Both Facebook and Instagram already have strict policies regarding nudity, especially when it comes to children, although both sites have found that enforcing these policies may be problematic.

There was the recent case of a woman whose Instagram account was deactivated as she uploaded a picture of herself breastfeeding her child- the reason Instagram gave her for the deactivation was that the child’s torso was naked.

Account privacy, social media policing and prosecution

Facebook may remove the offending picture and suspend a user’s account; should pictures be uploaded which are deemed to be displaying too much skin, Facebook will send a warning.

Parents aren’t happy with the rules, as they insist that their security settings allow them to control who has access to their online photo albums. Another contention is that sites such as Instagram allow users to upload pictures of adults posed wearing very little, often is a sultry or suggestive manner.

The problem is that it becomes very difficult to control privacy online. Once a picture has been uploaded, it can be copied and reproduced to the extent that it’s almost impossible to remove it.

While a snap of a newborn baby lying on a changing mat, a toddler splashing through the sprinklers or kids covered in bubble bath may not seem sexualised to the majority of people, there are those who misuse such images.

The NPA did not offer any information about how social media accounts would be monitored and what prosecution would entail.

Some parents choose to protect their children’s privacy by never uploading pictures, some opt for very tight security settings and only share pics with close friends and family, while other parents upload whatever they want to their accounts.

Read more on:

Child abuse

Online safety

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Should parents posting nude pics of their kids be prosecuted?
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