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Courtesy of Markus Spiske Via Unsplash

Until Children Are Protected, Family Youtube Channels Should Not Exist

Imagine gazing back at the reflection of your 13-year-old self and turning your face to the side as you examine your once silky smooth prepubescent skin now a mountain range of bulbous acne. Overcome by waves of insecurity, you turn to your mom for advice. As you try and flip your hair to cover the blemishes, your mom whips out her Canon PowerShot and starts vlogging about your journey into adolescence while poking at your pimples, and plans to post this new video to the family vlog by next Tuesday 8 AM EST.

While the argument can be made that these titles are exaggerated in order to pull in more click-through-rates, one must ask themselves what are the repercussions of raising a child in a movie-like setting saturated with emotional drama.

Pressing ‘record’ while filming pranks on children is one thing, yet having a child’s life continuously documented during their vulnerable moments, such as being sick with the flu, seems grossly unnecessary. Children cannot consent to their faces being plastered to the internet for eternity. Their documented temper tantrums, sickness, or acne breakouts may follow them well into adulthood, carving out an identity that the children have no ability to claim as their own.

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Via Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

If parents are supposed to serve as guardians, what happens when they start to make significantly large amounts of revenue from documenting their children’s lives? In this case, “parents” shift into “employers,” and what’s right for the “children” becomes what’s right for the “business.”

One Youtube family vlog in particular, The Stauffer Life, made this business model abundantly clear. Vlogger Myka Stauffer had a relatively successful Youtube channel until she began posting videos in 2017 detailing the adoption process she was undergoing to obtain an autistic boy from China.

NYC content writer obsessed with all things consumer tech, digital marketing, and the future of work.

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