YouTube is an amazing platform. With just a few clicks people have access to videos that can teach them how to change the oil in a car, cook new food or learn a new hobby. However, there is a dark side to YouTube that hides itself in plain sight.
There are many things that one might not even realize and I’m talking about the exploitation of children. Family channels have come become very popular and a huge way for people to make money.
A family channel is a YouTube channel that creates content based on children and families, however it also exploits the children. A child cannot consent to being in a YouTube video when they’re born in it. The parents package themselves as a fun way to live but most channels actually grow through the births of their children.
The births of children are huge money makers for these families as well as injuries and trips to emergency rooms which is sickening. I do understand that some of these families take brand deals which is a great source of income for them but that’s not their primary source of income from these family channels. Their primary source is creating content around their children and receiving ad revenue.
One family channel making news for some of the things that they’ve done is Myka Stuaffer, who built her channel from having children occasionally being vegan or vegetarian and adopting a child from China with disabilities. People donated money to reveal the puzzle pieces that were part of a picture to reveal what her adopted child would look like. She adopted this child knowing that he had severe disabilities but when it became too much and when she decided that she could no longer take care of her child she re-homed him.
YouTube as a platform has almost no regulations regarding how many hours a day these children are working because YouTube is a new platform as opposed to working in Hollywood. There’s few regulations as to how much money gets put aside for these children and their future. It’s also really disturbing when a child gets hurt the first thing a parent does is stick a camera in that child’s face and film their tears and blood.
People should stop watching family channels because that is the only way to make a difference in those children’s lives. Once the money is taken away there’s no reason to continue to exploit those children’s lives.
Students can share their thoughts about the exploitation of children on their own social media because if their friends or family watch them, changing one person’s opinion is a big step. Students should write to their representatives because laws are being passed in the U.S. and have been brought to Congress.
Jessica is in the Digital Arts program and previously graduated with an AA in Liberal Arts and a Bakery Certificate. She enjoys cooking, hiking with her dog, Daisy, taking pictures and spending time with her family.