National Ruritan Policy Regarding Youth Photographs on Websites and Facebook

This was originally posted on the “I am Ruritan” Facebook page:

Does your Ruritan club have a Facebook page or periodically add club pictures to Facebook (including this I Am Ruritan site)? Remember that there is a youth protection policy in place for Ruritan that includes the following two statements:

• Before taking pictures of youth, members should have a completed photo release form for each youth. Please respect the families that do not wish to have their youth photographed.
• Even with a signed release form, do not put photos of youth on web pages that identify the names or locations of the youth

You may also be interested in knowing more about COPPA (Children’s On Line Privacy Protection Act) an FTC rule that has been in effect since 2000 and was expanded in July of 2013 to include more about social media postings. Congress passed the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) to put parents in the driver’s seat when it comes to information websites collect about their kids under 13. Congress directed the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, to issue the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule.

Simply put – if you do not have the legal guardian/parent’s permission (in writing is best) to post a picture of a child under 13, do not put it on a Facebook page. You certainly don’t want to be in a position of putting a child at risk. If you have posted a picture and the parent asks you to take it down – do so immediately. If you need a copy of a consent form for youth pictures – you can download it from the Ruritan National website at http://www.ruritan.org/library/119.doc.

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