Kids in onscreen content are by Parenting Influencers in Illinois

Estimated read time 4 min read

As per a new law passed in Illinois, effective from July 1, parenting influencers have to set aside 15% of earnings for their children appearing on videos. This rule applies to the content posted on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, where children included in at least 30% of the footage. The money kept aside is to be put a trust for the child until they reach 18 years of age. Upon turning 18, they can demand video deletion that featured them.


No Direct Enforcement Method Available for this Law

No direct execution of this law exists. However, if parents do not stick to it as they get older, children can file a lawsuit against their parents. With an approach to fight against child exploitation through family vlogging channels online, Illinois introduced this regulation last year.


Supporters of the Law

The law had its initial support from Shreya Nallamothu, a social justice activist. In August 2023 she spoke with Press stating there was no legislation in place that would safeguard children involved with “kid influencing”. “Sharenting” is another practice that as yet has no legal check according to Jessica Maddox considering she teaches journalism and creative media at the University of Alabama. She mentioned that we need protections similar to what other child workers and entertainers get.


Income Stream of Influencers Vary a Lot

The New York Times suggests that smaller influencers earn around $600 per Instagram post while larger accounts pull up to $20,000. There are stay-at-home moms among many parenting influencers who like sharing parenting related content and also earn money but according to experts the downsides associated with “sharenting” outweigh the upsides.


One of its Kind

This law from Illinois being the first law of its sort in the US, Washington, Maryland, California are several states deliberating over similar legislation. Naomi Cahn, Codirector at the University of Virginia’s Family Law Center thinks that this regulation gives a clean message which is that children must not suffer from such exploitation.


Viewpoints from Experts

Katya Varbanova who is a social media and marketing consultant insists on fact that these young stars featuring on family vlogging channels should really be paid for their part. There is an ongoing debate concerning child actors over the internet where few kids enjoy performing and even start their acting careers early, but there’s also a rising opposition against child actors. Varbanova affirmed on camera that while there might be room for arguments around future aspects related to children featuring in vlogs/ other content, no doubt exists when talking about income sharing. she asserts it as being crystal clear.


Growing Apprehensions

In 2021 disturbing reports were shared about Jordan Cheyenne forcing her son to pose with crying for a video thumbnail creating waves among viewers asking questions about behind-the-scenes activities happening in family vlogging channels. She expressed regret afterwards and denounced her tactics as horrific and upsetting. The TikTok pair consisting of Lilly Davis along with husband Paul faced accusations alleging they were making their kids work during Disney World vacations, but they denied those charges asserting that their children had consent whether or not to show up in videos.


Serious Charges Faced by Some Family Vloggers

In August 2023, Ruby Franke was arrested and accused of abusing her children. She was later charged and sentenced to up to 30 years in prison. Another case involved the motherdaughter duo Wren &. Jacquelyn Paul, whose videos were speculated to attract predators.


Market for Family Oriented Content

The demonstrated success of family-oriented content makes it hard for people to resist filming more of it despite uncertainties because its engagement levels are high, said Varbanova. She also voiced her concerns about how addictive receiving attention and interaction can be which can result in perilous situations.


Impact on Long Term Basis

Potential issues related to privacy or mental health pertaining to public display of children’s activities are still under examination by experts for their long-term impacts. According to Varbanova, reserving 15% of earnings from the content for children is a step in the right direction but she believes upping that fraction would serve children better.

Illinois’ steps towards a new law requiring influencers compensating their kids if they feature in social media happenings is an important move towards securing child influencers’ rights. The law applies to children who are shown onscreen for over 30% of videos and less than 16 years old.

This law comes as a means addressing digital exploitation happening with young ones providing them pay for their work while spotlighting this crucial matter urging other states contemplating similar laws thereby possibly triggering wider discussions around child rights along with safeguards within digital media.

Celina Brooks

Celina Brooks from Mussoorie is a Writer & Researcher. She earned her Engineering degree in IT from Rutgers University. She is a technology enthusiast but loves writing and talking about local news as well. She is a jolly person with 2 children.

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