RI Parent Pleads to Have Memes Using Son’s Image Taken Down from Internet

Friday, December 02, 2016


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One of the memes of Anderson's son, that he is trying to get taken down after he said they were created unbeknownst to him.

A Providence, Rhode Island resident is asking for help to get a picture of his son being used as a meme taken down from the Internet.

Calvin Anderson said that a number of memes using his son were created and shared without his knowledge, after a picture was posted from a concert he and his son were at with friends -- and that the situation has been causing his family great distress.  

Anderson posted one of the memes to Facebook on Thursday, with his son’s face blurred over, requesting help from people to ask whoever they see posting or sharing the memes, to take them down. Anderson wrote: 

FB I need your help. I didn't want to do this but I feel backed into a corner. This is my son. Someone made a meme out of his pic. There are at least 5 of them on Instagram and [now] its moved on to Twitter and FB.

I know its impossible to take anything off the internet but if you see this pic can you please report it or ask the poster to take it down? I'm just trying to preserve my son's innocence. This is us at Great Woods to see Van Halen. We're fortunate none of the memes have been disrespectful to him. They've all been in humor. But no one wants their kid to be a meme. Please help me and report these images and inbox me any new ones you come across. It takes a village. Thank you.

“I’m actually in the picture next to him, you can see my knee,” Anderson told GoLocal on Thursday. “You want to be able to take pics of your son, you want to share those moments. I have no idea how his picture - which was on Instagram - got turned into a meme, or who did it. I was upset, because that’s not my intention when I put pics of my son on my Facebook."

"He’s a great looking kid, but he’s my kid," said Anderson. "I wouldn’t go through someone else’s kids and do this."

Anderson said the existence of the memes was brought to his attention by a number of friends, including ones in Atlanta, Georgia — all the way to Africa. 

"A friend of mine is in Africa, and he said he saw it two weeks ago. He hasn't seen my son in years," said Anderson. "My buddy in Atlanta, he saw it before me, and he said isn’t this your son?  I said where did you see that? It spread like wildfire."

Latest In Misuse of Photos of Minors

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A photo with Hillary Clinton and a child that had been turned into a meme has been addressed by copyright law - but RI's Anderson questions what rights he has, versus a powerful politician.

The Washington Post reported on Thursday, “A photo of a 4-year-old with Hillary Clinton was used as a disgusting meme. Her mom fought back.”

The story, written by Colby Itkowitz, tells of how a photo Clinton and the child, originally uploaded to the Clinton campaign Flickr page, was turned into a meme share thousands of times on social media. 

Itkowitz wrote of the mother:

“That night, after she gave Sullivan a bath and put her to bed, she searched for the photo online and found thousands of blogs and feeds on Instagram and Pinterest and Facebook that shared the image. She believed what she’d always been told: Once something is on the Internet it’s there forever.”

The family however was able to get help from the Anti-Defamation League and through the copyright that the Clinton campaign held on the photo, was able to send take-down notices to the originating sties.

Anderson said that after he saw the article, he hoped that bringing attention to his son’s picture could get it addressed.  

“I’ve asked folks, if you see these memes, just ask the poster to kindly take it down.  We don’t want any fights, or to be aggressive,” said Anderson. “Let’s just preserve our kids’ innocence.”

"So I saw the [Post] article, and I get it, Clinton has a copyright," said Anderson. "But do any of us have copyrights?"


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