Is This Worth the Effort?
November 6, 2019 9:36 AM   Subscribe

I recently bought two cameras (one tape and one digital) that each had baby video on them. I am considering posting a notice on FB to try to find the parents of the kids to see if they want the tape/files.

My assumption is that parents want any video of their kids. And, when I make that assumption, I think that maybe the files or tapes were forgotten when they got rid of the gear. But I also wonder if they already have copies and knew stuff was in their cameras but didn't care. Before I delete files and record over tapes, I want to make the effort to get what may be priceless images back to parents. I've heard stories of people going on FB to reunite people with rings and things. But is it worth the effort? And if it is, what do I need to know before I go on FB?
posted by CollectiveMind to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think there's a distinction between trying to reunite a tourist with their lost camera, and making sure that a camera seller didn't accidentally leave their only copy of some footage on the camera. Besides, in order to find the correct parent, you'd almost certainly be uploading video of someone's kid to the Internet without permission.
posted by zamboni at 10:10 AM on November 6, 2019 [9 favorites]

I think you should contact the seller with that information, but anything beyond that is unnecessary.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 10:24 AM on November 6, 2019 [3 favorites]

Posting anything about kids that aren't yours to the intarwebz just seems like an invitation for crazy intrusive jackasses to crawl into your life.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 10:27 AM on November 6, 2019 [5 favorites]

Seconding Mr. know-it-some. The way to find this out is to reach out to the seller, because presumably they know where this stuff came from.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:35 AM on November 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

I would (a) check with the seller and (b) post a notice on FB. I may or may not post a still from each video, depending on what they are like (actual babies fully clothed, yes i would post that), but I would almost certainly post pictures of the cameras I bought to go with the posts. I would likely also post a notice on lost and found on craigslist and anywhere else in my area I could think of. I would also not delete or throw away the images but just store them for a while until I think all hope is lost.
posted by girlpublisher at 10:39 AM on November 6, 2019

you're very kind. I think a note to the seller is a reasonable level of energy to spend. If you have room on your computer, you can save the digital one there in the (unlikely) case that they're able to make the contact. You can put the tape aside too.

(It's quite possible the owner uploaded their video to their own computer before selling the camera and just forgot to delete it off. Sounds like something I'd do.)
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:50 AM on November 6, 2019 [3 favorites]

How are you going to know that whoever contacts you on FB is the actual parent/family?

+1 contact the seller, maybe set the tape/storage card aside if that's reasonable, do not post pictures of other people's kids online, it is really common to copy files off a camera but not remove the camera copy
posted by momus_window at 10:57 AM on November 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Don’t post the pics - as above. This also means you can request they “describe video content to claim”.
posted by jrobin276 at 11:27 AM on November 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

My idea is that it's possible someone both has copies of these images and also left them on the camera (I help people use computers regularly, a lot of people do this because they don't know how to empty out their cameras) so while I think contacting the seller is a nice idea, but my guess is that it's not images the parents are missing.
posted by jessamyn at 12:21 PM on November 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

I have personally seen advertisements in Craigslist asking for anyone with a stolen camera to just return the footage in the camera because it was of their child. I think maybe you should contact the Kansas City Missouri police or just search Craigslist lost and found if it would be not a problem. I know if it was lost footage of mine I'd want a more proactive attempt at returning it.
posted by The_imp_inimpossible at 1:14 PM on November 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'd probably make a backup of the footage and send a note, then keep the backup for, I don't know, a few years.
posted by amtho at 2:24 PM on November 6, 2019

I had no intention of posting any image of either child on the Internet. I apologize for not making that clear at the start.
posted by CollectiveMind at 4:15 PM on November 6, 2019

And also, the I bought the cameras at a local Goodwill store, so there is no way for the store to know who donated them. My intention was to make the owners identify the images (gender of child, name of child, etc.) and/or settings where the video was shot.
posted by CollectiveMind at 4:18 PM on November 6, 2019

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