social media exploitation of children

Moms Hope the Exploitive Kid Vlogging Industry Won’t Exist in 10 Years

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Are there some industries that you wished never existed? The ones that prey on our mental health, privacy, and children are usually at the top of people’s minds.

A recent trending Reddit thread asked, “What industry do you hope won’t exist in 10 years?”

The responses included some pretty standard answers related to telemarketers, scammers, and human trafficking- which we’d all agreeably love to see gone asap. One topic that got a lot of attention was child exploitation and its relation to social media.

Kristaboo14 comments: “Mommy/Family vloggers. They’re sinister… There needs to be laws to protect these exploited children, and in 10-20 years, we’re going to see a LOT of these kids telling their horror stories and suing their parents.”

Other Reddit users agree, like BifronsOnline replying: “Yup, a lot of really gross child exploitation happening in those areas. Been happening for at least 10 years now with “toy review” type of channels and the like on YouTube. If a child is featured in the video, it should be demonetized IMO.”

Current Child Labor Laws

In 1939, the Coogan Law was passed in California with the goal of safeguarding child actors. The law ensures that parents hold 15% of a child’s earnings until they can manage it themselves.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor cites a full state-by-state list of child labor laws that shows most states simply require a work permit authorized by the child’s parent.

child labor laws and social media
Photo Credit: Gemutlickeit from

Are There Any Laws in Place to Protect Children on Social Media?

Children making money via social media influencing and vlogging (such as on YouTube) are not protected by the Coogan Law. Unfortunately, this can lead to exploitation from both platforms and parents.

In a world where social media has become essential to business promotion and children are becoming increasingly tech-savvy, how do we preserve our little one’s childhoods? A childhood where they’re focusing on learning, growing and connecting with their outside world rather than on how many likes they got, what comments they received, or how much money they made.

Social media can also negatively affect their self-esteem and mental health. Plus, make them an easy target for bullying, trolling, and even child pornography (some sick people are out there).

Related read: How to Help Your Child Through Insecurities

How to Protect Our Children

Like anything, most parents with children in the social media space have good intentions. As moms, dads, and a community, let’s work towards solutions safeguarding our most precious asset: our youth.

  • As a consumer, be mindful of what types of videos and posts you watch.
  • As a parent, understand the risk of exposure to social media (and fame) and protect your children.
  • And for those of us in the industry (blogging, vlogging, social media, etc.), let’s ensure that any partnerships or sponsorship we pursue aligns with our values and is age-appropriate.

Our work today will shape a better future, so let’s ensure we protect our little ones from exploitation.

What do you think is appropriate for our children? No doubt, the opinions will vary.

I personally keep my children off all social media channels as much as possible. Yes, I’m that parent that refused to sign the photo release form so that my daughter’s preschool could share her images on Facebook. But I know some parents love to see what their kids are up to at preschool, so to each their own- as long as it’s safe for the child!

This post was originally posted on Mom Blog Life.

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