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Author Topic: Stock photos of kids presented as real people  (Read 2717 times)

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« on: March 26, 2014, 23:06 »
0
I found a photo of mine on a pen pal site and saw there are quite a few stock photos there. It was bought and paid for, so there is no copyright issue. I am wondering what you think of this from an ethical point of view.

The site advertises pen pals from around the world, but the posts from these alleged pen pals use stock photos and pass them off as being the actual people. I see they are a new site, so I could see why they would do this to fake activity on their site. But it still just seems creepy to be doing it.

http://penpalkid.com/


« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2014, 01:10 »
+2
That's a very strange site for many reasons. The least of the weirdness is using stock photos for fake activity! I definitely think it should note "posed by models" if they're using stock images.

I looked at the terms and conditions plus the FAQ. I got a chuckle out of the first two tips for replying to a PenPal request:

"When possible, run a background check to verify the authenticity of each poster.
Avoid disclosing too much information; do not share data such as passwords, bank details or even the movement schedule of family members to prevent stalking or housebreaking."

A background check? Are they expecting all sorts of creepy stalkers to be on the site to prey on the target kid audience and for them to be daft enough to give out enough real information to run a background check?

The site is based in Singapore, so perhaps this is something typical there - I wouldn't let my kids anywhere near a site like this

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2014, 06:11 »
+1
I found a photo of mine on a pen pal site and saw there are quite a few stock photos there. It was bought and paid for, so there is no copyright issue. I am wondering what you think of this from an ethical point of view.

The site advertises pen pals from around the world, but the posts from these alleged pen pals use stock photos and pass them off as being the actual people. I see they are a new site, so I could see why they would do this to fake activity on their site. But it still just seems creepy to be doing it.

http://penpalkid.com/


It's dubious ethically - similar to that 'Faces of Coal' thing http://grist.org/article/2009-08-27-faces-of-coal-are-istockphotos but arguably 'less bad' than wannabe wedding photographers using stock wedding photos to advertise their business (while staying borderline legal in some countries by not actually claiming to have taken the photos).

In one way, using stock images on the penpal site might be preferable to using real photos from a child safety point of view, but they are overtly lying by saying the photos are the actual kids in the profile.
However, as they lie about the photos, I wonder how legitimate is the rest of the site's activity?
« Last Edit: March 29, 2014, 09:57 by ShadySue »


 

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