The aftermath

Thank you so much to everyone who has offered support following my last post. It was a horrible, horrible discovery to have made but I am so glad that I did: the image will stick in my head and haunt me forever…but in my view that is far better than continuing to post photos of my baby, insensible to the fact they could be used for illegal means.

The important thing to keep telling myself is that Sam has not suffered in any way through my openness and disregard for internet dangers. He has not been physically, or indeed mentally, harmed (I dearly hope this remains the case); so at the end of the day this is anguish I have brought upon myself, and myself only. Which does lessen the pain considerably, but doesn’t stop me feeling tremendously guilty about my selfish desire to blog about our lives – no holds bared.

There has been an array of different opinions on this, and I have to admit that I sway from one to another, depending on my mood, and as I learn more about internet security and – I wish I could close my eyes to this – more information I have been told about the mind of the online paedophile.

You will notice that I have deleted all photographs of Sam. When I have time I will have a go at ‘prettifying’ this blog in an attempt to convince you all to keep coming back; I have no doubt that the sweet pictures of Sammy Boy have been the main inducement for most of my friends!

Although I wavered at first, I do want to continue writing. I am trying to persuade myself that this was a wake up call rather than a sign telling me to quit. This blog has had such a positive effect on my life in general; so it’d be a shame to give it up instead of exploring the measures I can take to make me feel more comfortable with it being online. I have had a lot of feedback on what I could do to reduce my chances of being targeted, but I knew I wouldn’t feel right if I kept the photos of Sam up. Some people have suggested I still display photos; just none that could be seen as ‘provocative’ – probably a fairly sensible piece of advice but not one that I feel I could follow. Obviously I would never have uploaded a photo of Sam in the nudey rudey, but as I can see nothing at all sexual in that, I would be incapable of guessing what a paedophile would find interesting – Topless? – Legs on show? Trying to think like that sort of person sickens me, and I really do not want to have to analyse each photo in that way.

One thing I have learnt, from the lovely bloggers who have offered advice, is that it is usually videos of children that attract paedophiles. Apparently when someone is arrested, reported to have hundreds of pornographic images of children, the pictures are often stills from videos. (Something to bear in mind if you vlog.) I hadn’t realised either that the images are not left as they are; they are manipulated. This is something I so wish I could unlearn.

The majority of people, whilst expressing their sorrow that this has happened, have been quick to reassure me that there was nothing on here that the guy would have stuck around for – he probably would’ve clicked away as soon as he realised it was a blog (though I really wish I could have proof for this). This is reassuring, but it turns my stomach to know that someone like that has even glanced at a photo of my little boy. Again, I have been reassured that we have probably come into contact with paedophiles in the real world…but is that really something to be comforted by?! I think I could well turn out to be a very paranoid mother from now on!

I would like to close this subject here: this blog is only worth continuing if I am enjoying writing it; and I have enjoyed neither this particular post, nor the last.

For those who are concerned about having images of their children online, please take a look at the comments below my last post; the people who responded were very helpful. I may be breaching blogging laws by including this link (if so I will take it off), but I posted my story on the mumsnet forum and learned a great deal from the information given.

As I said, I don’t want to continue with the topic of children’s safety, but I have learnt my lesson that sticking your head in the sand is not the right way to go. MmeLindor has just written a post on how to protect your children out in the real world, and I would definitely recommend parents to read it, if only to remind yourselves that not everyone out there is nice. But try not to let it become too paranoid – as I am in danger of becoming!


  1. Expat Mammy

    glad your still going to write, I post pix of LPV by the are usually side shots or distant one, just remember sam will change so much it will be hard to recognise him.xx

  2. Thanks for your link to my blog, and you are not breaking any rules by linking to the MN thread. Information is good, particularly on a topic such as child safety.

    I will also be writing a follow up post about online safety for children, both for bloggers and for parents of children who are old enough to go online. I will let you know when these posts are done.

    The thing to remember is that at no point was your little boy in any danger. At all.

    You can still post cute photos of your son – I try to take photos from behind, or where their faces are covered by hair or a hat, or sweet detail photos of just their hands in playdoh.

    Your blog is more than just images, so your readers will stay true to you.

  3. Hi, I know the case is closed, but this is what my FBI friend said:
    “As for the blog, I’m curious how the search ‘naked toddler’ led to her site? If she’s tagged pictures or had search terms with ‘naked’, that probably led him there. It’s really too bad she had to remove pictures of her son because of these kind of people. But she also probably wouldn’t post pictures of him in a print magazine she published or on a billboard, would she? I just heard an NPR ‘Talk of the Nation’ segment on Facebook policy (or lack thereof) on removing tagged pictures. Privacy and access collide again!

    As for reporting, it is worthwhile if she has date to provide. Did she capture his IP address or URL? It probably was a pedophile and is worth reporting if she has his information or at least the date/time of his access and her URL. If so, she can forward this information to the Internet Crime Complaint Center and make an on-line report of the incident.”

  4. Yes, if you have any details of him then report. The UK CEOPs website is good, or the Internet Watch Foundation.

    I have now written a blog post about internet safety for children (when the children are using the net) and have included links to websites where you can find information on where to report.

  5. Hi only me!! Just read your last few posts – how horrible for you – please continue to write – sadly I think paedos are like rats you’re never that far away from them and they have viewed our children in the streets walking to school etc. It has certainly made me think what I label etc. Big hugs Tashx

  6. Red

    Good on you! You are being both brave and prudent. Your blog is therapeutic for both you and your readers. And a little healthy paranoia is a good thing.

    Give Sam a BIG HUG. If you did not love him so much, this would never have been an issue. Just proof positive you have his best interest at heart.


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