This video of a seven-year-old boy, whacked out on pain medication, was posted last week by the boy’s father on YouTube (and other sites) and has since been viewed by almost 10-million people (I probably account for 15 to 20 of those views, it still makes me giggle). It’s also been re-broadcast on Fox News during Greta Van Sustern’s “Last Call” segment.

It’s totally hilarious. And it’s also made “David at the Dentist” a household phrase. The question is, when David is 18 (or at school on Monday) will he think it’s quite as funny? (Star Wars Kid, anyone?)

I’m sure that David’s father in no way intended for his son to become Internet famous (though he did presumably permit the clip to be aired on Fox News), but now he is, and there’s no going back.

So here’s the question – what about David’s right to privacy? If you had children, should you think twice about posting cute videos of them to YouTube, concerned that they might “go viral”? Or is Internet fame so fleeting that in six months no one will remember, so it doesn’t matter?

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3 Comments

  1. Maggie – I have wondered about this since the dawn of Dooce.

    I’ve chosen not to post photos or videos of my kids for public consumption because I want to honor the pre-teens, teens, college kids and adults they will become. I just can’t imagine their future selves being cool with me broadcasting their more vulnerable, embarrassing moments from childhood.

    On the other hand … David’s existential freakout made me laugh until I wept. Over and over again.

    Wish there were an easy answer. Regardless, I think it’s a fantastically important topic that is rarely discussed, particularly in mommy blogger circles. Thanks for posting about it.

  2. Maggie, Kristina above communicates this far more elegantly than I’m about to, however. This is the first time I’ve watched the entire clip without distraction. I imagined that this was my daughter (almost 4) instead of David. The age difference notwithstanding, I actually didn’t find it funny at all, I felt sorry for David and I certainly would not want my daughter subjected to such recognition. David was clearly not himself due to the effects of the medication. To put it in context for adults, liken this to you being a complete and utter drunken mess and someone posting 2 mins of your clouded babbling outbursts online, see you later SMG…

    Michael Phelps got off easy with just a picture. The fact that this was a child in my opinion crosses the line. Our job as parents is to protect our children when they cannot protect themselves.

    Maybe amongst the “giggles” some people may have a moment of clarity and realize that down the road, David will come to grips with this violation of trust and agree with me that his dad was irresponsible.

  3. I think people need to lighten up. First off, no one knows David beyond this clip and what his relationship with his dad is like.

    Our four year old loves being silly and having videos/photos taken and even asks my wife to post them online because he knows his friends will see them (through their moms etc.).

    Absolutely there are certain lines that shouldn’t be crossed, and a lot of this would also depend on the age of the child as well but at the end of the day I’m sure David had a good laugh at it w/his dad. If you read the description there was also several months between the video being shot & it being posted. So David likely saw it before it would be posted.

    I’m also guessing by this update video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWQSf27-P-U David was cool w/his dad posting the video.

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