Wednesday, January 26, 2011

You can't be too careful

Good morning bloggers, this post has few nice things but first I would like to touch on a blog safety issue.
For most of us, our blogs are a place of connection and sharing family moments, crafts, arts, mothering issues and general girl stuff.  I particularly love that I can do that with you all, I adore your comments and it always gives me a thrill when I gain a new follower, I always check the new "friends'" profile and blog and usually return the compliment by following up with "thanks and pleased to meet you" comment.

So when I logged on this morning and noticed my 45th follower had joined I was excited but then puzzled. This person did not look like the usual blogger - firstly he was a 50 something year old male, from Brazil.  I then check his profile but it was in Spanish and made little sense to me. Then my eyes dropped to the the list of sites he had previously joined. Ahem, some pretty unsavoury titles existed on this list and gave me no choice but to block him immediately and inform him of my choice to do so.

Which led me to thinking, who was this man? Why on earth would he want to join my site? I doubt he knits or crochets so why? Then I was forced to think the most unpleasant of thoughts, maybe he was looking at my children. My stomach turned, had my shared life moments been viewed by a predator? I think most likely so.

It really is a feeling of violation that I am currently experiencing.

Realistically, predators are out there and it is likely that this guy wasn't the first to lurk around the "pleasantville" blogs we create. Our blogs are out there and we put them out there. We can't control the world but we can be mindful about how much detail we add to our blogs.  Some time ago, I was reading a blog post about an "exciting first ETSY purchase", the blogger had taken a photo of the package she received and there in bold print was her address...I quickly emailed her and pointed this out - later she confided she was so shocked she had done this .

I won't stop posting about my family, I won't cower in fear.  But like I employ in real life,  I will be blogging with a stronger awareness of who enters my world and if needed, like today, will do what is necessary to keep mine safe. Like any community, we need to keep an eye out for each other in order to maintain each others' safety and take on responsibilities like we would and do in our actual communities. So bloggers, I urge you contact each other if you see anything that be an oversight with potential risk factors, or announce anything dodgey you might come across such as my ex 45th follower and share your ideas on how we might promote a safe blogging community.

Now time for some happy goodness with " what I am loving at the moment"

polka dot pin wheels

this fantastic plastic poppy brooch

breakfast of champions

wayfarers wearing Nanas

this hey diddle diddle clock in Tasmania


Martha's new handbag - if it wasn't pink I might use it too!

giant chocolate frogs

Martha's new bunny made by Beck at Dandelion (see my blog list)
This bunny is so special she sits with Martha's beloved bear.

this adorable metal plaque


Just Martha said...

I have a very creepy comment left by someone teenage from America who told me I had poor security and was 'open' to all sorts of things and then went into detail on what a misfit he was and that he was unloved etc. Totally freaked my out. I think he did a search on "halloween" as I had done a post so maybe this is how Mr Unsavoury found you. By just searching for a word. I agree that we can't be too careful and I had just been adding photos of my children but might think twice. I like the anonymous factor really. Scary! Well done for going for the cull!!

'Joyce' said...

ohhhh this chills me to the core. Thank you so much for sharing this information. I have never put photos of my children on my blog and I never will. At times I have some beautiful photos to share with my long standing blog friends, and often think oh just one photo won't hurt, but when I started my blog, I promised myself that I would never put their faces on my blog nor my hubbies. I have managed to so far not do that. You have just reinforced my feelings to keep it this way. It's very sad when we use our blog to share our crafts, to meet likeminded other crafters, lovers of home and family to have these unsavories ruin it for us. Thank you again for informing us, and hopefully that is the last you get of this type.

CurlyPops said...

I'm totally with you on the safety issue. That's why I never put full names of any of my family members on the blog (even though they have different surnames to me), and I would also never post a photo of anyone elses children without asking permission first.
I make sure to never put the suburb where I live. Melbourne is quite enough for anyone to know!

I'm so glad that you emailed the blogger who put her address in the photo! That is scary.

Posie Patchwork said...

Oh i get all sorts of weirdo spam comments, but not followers, oh, extra creepy. Most of mine seem to be escourt agencies, wanting me to promote them, sure!!
I'd never name my children on my blog or my husband for obvious reasons, i pretty much blog so my husband can see what we're up to, while he's living interstate & overseas for 3 years. I know, i chose Canberra & good schools over a less exciting life of him not being around wherever we live.
Good on you for blocking, some people are glad to have any odd person follow them. Love Posie

Miss Muggins said...

This is very timely - thanks for posting about it. I had a follower that didn't seem to meet my demographic - a middle aged man with no blog or any other information. So thanks to your post I have blocked him - I had nver thought about it much until now. Thanks so much xxxxxx