Should This Dad Be Labeled a Child Pornographer?

click to play video

Sick pervert. Child exploiter. Piece of sh*t. These are not the comments parents expect when posting pictures of their children to social media. But those were the only words Wyatt Neumann saw for several days.

Earlier this year, Neumann embarked on a cross-country road trip with his 2-year-old daughter, Stella. A photographer by trade, Neumann's initial instinct was to capture every moment on camera — some of which featured Stella wearing just a pair of underwear and some that had her wearing nothing at all. Needless to say, these shots of a girl giggling in the backseat and jumping on the bed quickly turned into an online frenzy. The same day Neumann posted his favorite photos to Instagram, members of the social media site shared their hostile opinions of the images and Neumann's parenting.

"There was this whole page of comments [saying] that I'm a sicko and a pervert," Neumann says. There were even claims that the father of two was a sexual abuser. As a result of the commentary and concerns, Instagram shut down Neumann's account overnight. Still, the father stands behind his decision to post what he believes were innocent pictures.

"I write what's happening," Neumann explains. "When she was on the bed in the hotel naked I said, 'When daddy has to do work, what's a little girl to do? Get nudie and jump on the bed obviously.' So it's very clear what's going on." What upset him most, however, was that people had such a dark view on what was supposed to be a light topic — a dad spending time with his daughter.

"What really bothered me was the idea that they would look at my children and see something, not only sexualized from my perspective, but even that she [Stella] would have hyper-sexualized behavior," he says.

Neumann's photos and the controversy surrounding them bring up an important question for parents: when do photos of our children cross the line from innocent to inappropriate? And, more importantly, will we ever agree on an answer? Judging by the response to Neumann's images, that day is far, far away.