Photos On Facebook: Can There Be Too Many Babies (Or Animals)?

Social media experts Baratunde Thurston and Deanna Zandt answer questions about how to behave in the digital age. This week's topic: is there a limit to the number of baby — or animal — photos you should post to Facebook?

Copyright © 2012 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Finally, in tech, we're here to decode your digital dilemmas. Well, actually, we defer to our two experts: Baratunde Thurston, former digital director at The Onion and author of the book "How to be Black," and Deanna Zandt. She's the author of "Share This!: How You Will Change the World with Social Networking."

This week, we pose the question about posting photos on Facebook, namely: Is there a limit to the number of photos you can post of a new baby or a new pet?

BARATUNDE THURSTON: Forty-seven is the...

DEANNA ZANDT: Yeah.

THURSTON: ...absolute value of the number of...

ZANDT: Although in Canada, it's actually 44, I think.

THURSTON: Oh, is it like...

ZANDT: There is a new Canadian regulation of 44...

THURSTON: OK.

ZANDT: ...per cycle, depending on whether you're using English or metric.

(LAUGHTER)

ZANDT: But I think this is - comes down to personal preference. People, for example, on Facebook, they can unsubscribe from you. If you are so enamored with the human that you created that you feel the need to put out incessant amounts of pictures about that little human...

THURSTON: Yeah.

ZANDT: ...go for it. Let other people decide what they're going to do with your information.

THURSTON: Yeah, I strongly disagree. I think there's a limit...

(LAUGHTER)

THURSTON: ...to how much you should be posting images of your child who has no consciousness or rights yet. There's a digital child abuse thing going on here. And then with the animals, you know, let's just get new animals. Cats have had their day on the Internet, and I think it's time for a new species.

ZANDT: Hamsters.

THURSTON: But hamsters get no love...

ZANDT: Get no love on the Internet.

THURSTON: ...online. There was that one hamster on the piano that was really wonderfully adorable. Squirrels have had a brief moment. I think we could diversify a little bit, though. And I'm not calling for like affirmative action per se.

ZANDT: And there's actually a service that you can use called unbaby.me where you can replace pictures of babies that your friends have shared with pictures of other things that make you happier.

(LAUGHTER)

THURSTON: That's good. That is a good - do you get a cut of unbaby.me?

ZANDT: No. No.

THURSTON: Awesome.

ZANDT: This was actually passed on to me as a knower of someone who does not appreciate too many baby pictures.

THURSTON: There you go. That is a practical and ethical recommendation.

(LAUGHTER)

ZANDT: It is.

(LAUGHTER)

CORNISH: That's Deanna Zandt and Baratunde Thurston. Have a question for our experts? E-mail it to alltech@npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PICTURES OF YOU")

THE CURE: (Singing) I've been looking so long at these pictures of you that I almost believe that they're real. I've been...

Copyright © 2012 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.