Apple Martin tells off mother Gwyneth Paltrow for sharing photo without consent

Fourteen-year-old publicly criticised Paltrow for oversharing, reflecting unease of an entire generation

Apple Martin tells off mother Gwyneth Paltrow for sharing photo without  consent | Gwyneth Paltrow | The Guardian

Gwyneth Paltrow’s teenage daughter has criticised her mother for posting a picture of her online without her consent, a reaction experts say will become more common as a generation that has been snapped since their birth grows up.

Paltrow posted a photo to Instagram earlier in the week of herself with Apple Martin, her 14-year-old daughter with Coldplay singer Chris Martin, at a ski field. Apple’s face is largely covered by goggles.

Apple commented on the post: “Mom we have discussed this. You may not post anything without my consent.”

Paltrow replied: “You can’t even see your face!”

Apple’s comment, which was later deleted, sparked debate about how much parents should share about their children’s lives on social media.

Some criticised the teenager for publicly calling out her mother, others backed her up, saying the teenager had a right not to have her image shared with her mother’s 5.3 million followers.

This is a discussion we will be hearing more often in the coming years, said Joanne Orlando, researcher in technology and learning at the Western Sydney University, as children who have had their entire childhoods documented online by their parents reach an age where they can articulate their preferences for how much they want to share.

“I think we will see a pushback,” said Orlando, who called Apple’s reaction to her mother’s post: “not unusual and not uncalled for”. “For these kids, often the first time they hit social media is the ultrasound photo and then from day one when they’re born.

“So they don’t have any control over what their parents are putting up, or what comments their parents are adding to photos or videos, but we all know our digital lives are increasingly important. So they want to gain control over it when they’re able to.”

Orlando said while she had not yet seen cases of children taking legal action against their parents for what is posted online, this could come in the future, and noted the example of France, which introduced strict laws as a result of which parents could face fines and even a jail sentence if they post photos online that are deemed to violate the child’s privacy.

Sun Sun Lim, professor of communication and technology at the Singapore university of technology and design, said the Paltrow example was clear cut as the pair had an agreement her mother broke, but other families may not have had these conversations about what they can post.

“It’s important for families and parents to realise young people today grow up in a very visual, social interaction space, where their peers are looking at them and how they appear on Instagram and Snapchat. There is a performative dimension to existence [and] it’s critical that parents are aware that sharing their children’s pictures should be mutually agreed upon.

“I enjoy cute kid pictures as much as anyone else but we need to realise that as kids grow up they may not be comfortable with pictures appearing on the internet.”

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