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  • Writer's picturePAYTON HEBERT

Kids aren't for content

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

Though many parents use social media to document their kids’ lives, I think there are certain caveats to the Internet that parents have neglected. When fame and money are thrown into the equation, consequently, some borders get crossed. Unfortunately, most of the consequences fall on the children who are made the pinnacle of their parents’ media presence.

Illustration by Pat Carbone

The Internet is permanent, which parents seem to neglect when posting their children in vulnerable moments. I think many creators’ goals shift from documenting their kids to making a profit as they gain a following. The LaBrant Family, a family channel with 13.1 million subscribers, recently received backlash for posting footage of their young son being hospitalized for seizures, using pictures of him sobbing as a thumbnail.

Another Youtube family, 8 Passengers, came under scrutiny for disclosing intimate details of their underage children’s lives, such as their daughter’s first period and their puberty discussions with their son. Though these issues may seem minor to some, I think it’s important to consider that these videos are put out without the consent of the children who they affect. Beyond this, these moments are used to promote the content to gain more viewers ,and therefore money, which is basically undermining their children’s experiences to try and make a profit.

Another consequence of the Internet is it is historically full of critics and predators. Children are not an exception to this, even if they are not in control of their content. Wren Eleanor, for example, is a child who went viral on Tik Tok after her mother, Jacquelyn Eleanor, posted a few videos of her outfits. Over time, Wren’s comment section was filled with people saying things such as “What a hottie” and “Is the child single?” among hundreds of other inappropriate comments.

After receiving these comments, her mother did nothing to address the issue and continued to post the same content. The issue stemmed so deep that eventually viewers became concerned for the child’s safety, prompting a viral #SaveWren hashtag. However, Wren’s mother claimed these concerns were based on false rumors, even though the rude comments were never deleted.

Whether parents are too greedy to respect their children or too naive to notice these violations I do not know, but I believe it is something we need to pay attention to. I think there’s a responsibility to view content concerning children through the lens that kids have feelings, and therefore rights that come along with those feelings. By using their youth as an excuse for exploiting them, we are violating the rights of these children.

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