Tiny Fluffy Bunny…

No… We haven’t got a new pet!

These are my daughters new names! Obviously I’m not cruel enough to change them by deed poll – but they are their new blog names.

Tiny = The smallest (last born) Twin.

Fluffy = The first-born twin… Who has tons of fluffy hair.

Bunny = The 5-year-old, who for some reason, we’ve always nicknamed baby bunny. Now it’s just Bunny.

Yes they may grow to resent these names… In which case I will give them more grown up nicknames when they are older!

You may or may not have noticed, that I stopped referring to my children by their first names, a while back. I changed all my blog posts too.

Here is why:

A few weeks ago I got a tweet, from a kind lady called Lisa, who wanted to inform me that one of my images had been stolen. I went onto the Facebook page of a not-so-reputable company, to find that the winner of their latest competition, was a fraudster. This fraudster had only three things on their Facebook page:
1) A name… Alex Moresby
2) 1 liked page (The company hosting the competition)
3) MY photo

I wouldn’t have been quite so annoyed if the photo had been of me. But it was a photo I took of my twins.

Why would somebody choose a photo of two babies to use as a profile pic on a fraudulent Facebook account? Oh yeah… To Win a Kindle and a load of Amazon vouchers! I was VERY angry and VERY upset.

I immediately issued a takedown notice to the profile owner, as the photo is my intellectual property. It clearly states on my website, I own the copyright to all images unless otherwise acknowledged. I then found out… it is AGAINST PRIVACY LAW to use an image online, of a child under 13 years of age, without their parental consent! I reported this to Facebook and within 2 minutes, my image AND the profile associated with it, was removed from Facebook. I am very impressed with the speed of the action taken by Facebook.

Meanwhile, on the page of Sweet Eve Strawberry (yes I am naming and shaming), there was uproar! The person who first found out about the fraudster, had outed him/her on the page. All the other competition entrants were completely enraged that a phony profile had won, and in support of me, even more angered that this sick person had used a stolen image of someone else’s babies! However SES, despite HUNDREDS of comments AND black and white evidence (my blog) that their winner was fraudulent, refused to disqualify their winner!

Now I have only just started running competitions on my blog, but beware fraudsters – I WILL disqualify anyone who enters using a fake profile… As myself and hundreds of others, think SES should have done. SES showed no apology for their actions and continued to give the fraudulent winner 24 hours to claim their prize! Now forgive me for voicing my suspicion… But that sounds to me like SES were in on it! After all – any publicity is good publicity! The resulting number of comments, and (following an eventual redraw) “likes” to their page, boosted their Klout score, fb insights and possibly SEO too!

So how did Lisa know it was my image? Having entered the competition herself, she looked at the winners profile. The fact it only had three things on, is enough of a give away that it is fraudulent, but she wanted proof. So she entered the photo URL into Google images and a split second later… It brings up my blog post, complete with photo and date! To me… This is genius! It’s incredible what you can do on the internet these days! On finding my blog, Lisa then had the foresight and the kindness to inform me, by following the link to my Twitter page! For this, I am immensely grateful!

This kind lady is a blogger herself, which probably explains why she went out of her way to contact me… Us bloggers stick together! So click here to visit Lisa’s blog.

This is the photo they stole…

I guess I was just a random target for the fraudster, but his/her greed let them down this time. In the end they did not contact SES to claim their prize, and SES had no choice but to redraw. In my naïvety, I had always assumed it would only be professional looking photography that was stolen on the internet, but how wrong I was!

Feeling like a victim who’d had my integrity taken too, I did some googling. It was then that it dawned on me. To increase the safety and privacy of my children, I  should use EITHER their names OR their photos… But not both! This is a moral dilemma faced by a lot of bloggers – whether or not they use their children’s names in blog posts. I would never judge any of them for their choices. It seems that about half do and half don’t.  Around 90% of the bloggers I read, use photos too. So I’ve taken the decision to remove my girls beautiful names from my blog, but continue using gorgeous photos of them. Some bloggers will think I’ve gone security mad, others will respect my decision.

I’m looking into water-marking my photos too.

If any other bloggers would like advice on how to check if your images have been stolen, please read this blog post from the fantastic blogger that is Emily at A Mummy Too

And for what to do if they have been stolen, visit this link by Tots100 for further advice.

To all my friends and family who read my blog, please help me keep my children’s anonymity. You can refer to them by real name on my private Facebook account, but please, on my fan page, public account, Twitter, G+ and blog, refer to them by their new blog names.

Much love and blogging safety to you all!

🙂 xxx

PS. As I feel SES did not handle the situation appropriately, I will no longer buy their products, out of principle.

  1. Emily (@amummytoo) says:

    Wow, what a low thing to do. To steal any image is bad but to steal a picture of children and pass it off as your own for material gain. YUCK! I hope the person is very ashamed of themselves and that the company involved has learned some lessons. Sorry you had to go through this and good on you for taking action. Oh, and thank you for the mention!
    Emily (@amummytoo) recently posted..Four more chew-tastic teething solutionsMy Profile

    • CrazyWithTwins says:

      You’re most welcome, I found your post incredibly helpful and keep referring back to it as though it were an instruction manual! lol. And as you can see I’m using your copyright badge too (which also means I can easily find your post!). xx

  2. Di Coke says:

    I read the comments on the Sweet Eve Strawberry page with interest! I was amazed they were so laid back about the whole thing. I’ve blogged many times about how people cheat with fake profiles and use stolen photos in competitions (see http://www.superlucky.co.uk/2012/03/cheating-in-facebook-twitter.html) but it’s just awful when they use photos of others’ children. What the hell are they thinking? Incidentally the link for Google’s excellent reverse image search is http://www.google.com/imghp – I have it on my bookmarks bar as it’s difficult to remember!

  3. Twinkle Mummy says:

    What an awful thing to have happened to you and your family. I always worry about the security side of blogging and other social media sites. Therefore, I have chosen to use a pseudonym for myself and also for my family and friends. I decided to include photos in my posts some of which I later deleted when I realised what sort of shocking and horrifying Google keyword searches were bringing them up. I constantly worry about using photos in my blog and I think water-marking maybe the way forward.
    Good for you for naming and shaming. If it had happened to me I wouldn’t know where to start. x
    Twinkle Mummy recently posted..But Why? Get your own back and ask lots of questionMy Profile

    • CrazyWithTwins says:

      I’ve got a corker of a post coming up soon about google search words! lol. About time I released a funny post – too many serious ones (like this) lately methinks! Thanks for reading and commenting. I shall blog my “But Why?” very soon! xx

    • CrazyWithTwins says:

      I don’t know if you can get it on WordPress Hosted or not but I downloaded a plugin called Word Filter Plus which changed their names to nicknames in all my posts for me – to save me hours of sifting through posts.

      I’m really sorry to hear it happened to you too and it definitely makes you feel violated. I’m going to go through a couple of photos a day, checking if anyones used them and then watermark them.

      I love that on your blog you refer to the people that do things like this as “giant turds” LOL. I couldnt think of a better description! xx

  4. Sarah says:

    It’s scary what people can do, but good for you and good for your fellow blogger. This serves as a warning to us all! I took the decision right from the start to not use my kids’ names or recognisable photos – so you might see baby photos or photos from behind. My eldest is 11 and I respect his privacy in particular. I take lovely photos and would love to share them, but am not willing to do something my son doesn’t agree with. Great post. I found you on Britmums MBPW by the way 🙂
    Sarah recently posted..I couldn’t live without…My Profile

    • CrazyWithTwins says:

      I completely understand that and I know that when my children are older, I may make more changes at their request. Some bloggers use names and photos, some use neither, I’m choosing to go somewhere in the middle! lol. Thanks for the compliment, for reading and also for taking the time to comment. I will go check out your MBPW now! xx

  5. Suzanne says:

    Wow, how scary is this?! I am definitely going to check this out, Thank you for bringing to everyone’s attention. I will also put a disclaimer on my website, I really hadn’t thought of that! Thanks

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