Eurispes, Children of the Net. The exposure of our children online on Instagram

Eurispes carried out an analysis of the visual snapshot social platform for excellence, Instagram, with the aim of understanding the phenomenon of children’s exposure through social posts and the sharing of images and videos about them.

Posts containing one of the following hashtags were therefore monitored with an OSINT survey, carried out by data journalist Livio Varriale: sons, son, daughter, daughters. The period observed starts on January 1st, 2018 and ends on October 10th, 2020.

736,182 posts were analysed with 96,488,755 likes.

The most used hashtags, along with the most searched hashtags, were “love”, “mum”, “family”, “baby”, “life”, “children”, “parents”. At the bottom of the top 20 is the word “dad”. Posts with the word “children” and “baby”, which therefore describe the youngest children, collectively score 5.50%. The presence of the word “mum” also includes the gender that posts the most photos of minors: women. At the bottom of the ranking we see male parents. Dads represent a very small slice, both in terms of publishing content and in terms of mentioning by their children’s mothers.

What is the business that revolves around children? The research reveals a particular focus on both psychological and pedagogical counselling, digital and distance learning, the parent-child relationship and tips for succeeding as fathers and mothers.

Is it necessary to publish photos of one’s children? This question frequently crops up in modern sociology in the face of the uncontrolled exposure of images of so many minors on social networks by their parents. In the research, the word “child” was analysed in all its genres, but this does not mean that photos of minors are only restricted to the described circumstances.

Posting photos of children on social networks exposes minors to many pitfalls, the first being the lack of respect for privacy. What is even more alarming is that by publishing photos of their minor children, one also exposes them to social engineering aimed at solicitation by malicious persons. Posting details of private life on social networks is an additional weapon for those who approach children with the intention of gaining their trust.

Should we reflect on the need for digital education to make parents more aware of the mechanisms behind social sharing platforms?

The full study is available at the following link


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