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Viral Image of Baby Being Tattooed


An image that appears to depict a crying child being forcibly tattooed by an adult male is currently circulating via social media, causing outrage as it travels.

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© Markhegedus

Brief Analysis

At this point, I am still researching the origins of the image and I will update the article should more information arise. The same image has been posted to numerous 'parenting fail' websites since at least 2012. While it is unclear from the picture alone if the child is really being tattooed, he is very clearly distraught. Disturbingly, there have been several cases in which young children have indeed been tattooed.


Viral Image Baby Tattooed

Detailed Analysis

This viral image, which is circulating via social media, apparently depicts a crying baby whose outstretched arm is about to be tattooed by an adult male wielding a tattoo machine.

Understandably, the image is generating a good deal of anger as it travels. The origin of the image is currently unclear, although it appears to be a genuine photograph. The same image has appeared on a great many 'parenting fail' websites since at least 2012. However, I am yet to find any concrete information about the incident depicted or the identity of the adult male or child.

Some have suggested that the child may not really be getting tattooed. The tattoo gun is not touching the child's skin and it is unclear from the picture alone if any tattooing has already been done. It is conceivable that the picture represents, not an act of child abuse, but rather an ill thought out and amazingly foolish staged prank. After all, a photograph can forever capture a single moment in time, including moments where people perform monumentally stupid acts. Nevertheless, the child is clearly very distraught.

Sadly, the tattooing of young children does sometimes occur. In 2011, a Georgia USA man was charged for tattooing his three-year-old son on the shoulder. In another case, a babysitter tattooed two children in his charge. To make matters worse, the parents of the children allegedly later attempted to remove the tattoos by scraping them with a heated razor blade. Both the parents and the babysitter were charged with malicious wounding and child abuse.

At the time of writing, I am still researching the origin of the image. Should more information be forthcoming, I will update the article accordingly.

Last updated: April 17, 2014
First published: April 17, 2014
Written by Brett M. Christensen
Research by David White, Brett Christensen
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