Perhaps a decade ago, children did not know what “social media” was, but, with the rise of the internet and technological devices today not only do they know what platforms we refer to when we use the term “social media” but almost each and every child owns at least one account on one of the platforms. The popularity of child influencers has grown rapidly in recent years,
Take a second to think about it; How can children actually influence a community of followers when they are yet to discover themselves?
France introduces a new law to protect “Child Influencers”
France took a step to enforce a law to protect those children who spend significant amounts of time working online and whose work generates an income. France has claimed that child labor was already prohibited in France, and since they consider child influencers to be performing child labor, they shouldn’t be given an exemption, even if it’s on the internet. Unanimously passing the law in 2020, the French parliament discussed the ‘exploitation of the image of children on online platforms’ in 2019. One of the main ideas behind this law is to at least create equal grounds for child influencers as child actors and models since child YouTuber’s and Instagram-er’s are considered among the highest-paid in their age group. Bruno Studer, the MP introducing the new legislation, hoped to be a pioneer in protecting kids who are making money online and stated that no matter what, children’s rights must be preserved and protected, even if that means to fight against the lawlessness of online platforms and the internet.
Should they request it, any social media platform has to remove content regarding that specific child, aiming to at least provide a safe environment for these kids and protecting their rights. Also if any company wishes to employ a child, they must have a local authority to do so, or they will be breaking the law, therefore confronting several problems such as penalties and etc. Any earning that a child under the age of 16 makes will be protected by the French government, ensuring that they will be in charge of their money when they should and can, meaning when under the law of France they start to be seen as adults, rather than children and teens. Considering the fact that the highest-paid YouTube star of 2019, according to Forbes, was 8-year-old Ryan Kajo, who reportedly earned $26 million through the platform
The law was a necessary step that should be taken towards protecting the children of our future, at the basic level protecting Gen Z, especially while every brand and Ad aims to get into their heads and especially when aside from its advantages the other side of the coin is full of disadvantages. Social bullying, harassment, the rise of illnesses such as anorexia, bulimia, the number of kids committing suicide and promoting suicidal thoughts; this is what social media is full of when thought about since it is a platform so wide as to be uncontrollable
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