YouTube kids: the child stars taking over


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YouTube kids: the child stars taking over

Being a YouTuber is now the most popular aspiration for children today, according to a recent survey. In 2018, the site’s highest earner was a seven-year-old American toy reviewer. But the video platform has been mired in controversy over its failure to protect children. Richard Sprenger meets some of the children plying their trade on YouTube, viral sensation Rebecca Black, and visits a Los Angeles summer camp where kids as young as six learn the tricks of the trade
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44 Comments

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  1. I have always been really critical of these shows my son watches. I tell him often they are edited, and produced, and scripted…they aren't just random recordings by children having fun and then uploaded. They are there to sell him products, push ideals of what "fun" is, and generally just entertain their target audience any way they can. That this is a job for some kids, and they have to do it even on the days they really dont feel like it.
    I know, I'm a total killjoy.
    I also am really concerned as to why these kids are not protected through the child labor laws? Its the wild west for child labor right now.

  2. Hi there! We just saw this piece by the Guardian and we'd be happy to answer any questions. Just to respond to a few we've spotted already…
    Beau very much enjoys participating in the shows he makes for YouTube and this is a venture he himself asked to be involved in several years ago. I'm not sure it's accurate to respond by saying we (as parents) are exploiting or capitalising on Beau. Most of the money his channel earns from sponsored brand deals and advertising does in fact go into a trust fund account for Beau when he's older. Only he will have access to it when he's 18. I can't speak for all parents who allow their children to make shows like his, but in Beau's case, he's level headed and YouTube is only a small part of his life. We only upload every couple of weeks or more. He's a member of a tennis club, learning to play piano, loves swimming and acting – He's just a normal kid who's YouTube channel happened to attract attention over the years since he's been actively involved.
    As for the future, he's open minded about it. He has a keen interest in the environment, especially penguins and Antarctica. Loves nature programs – Who knows, the skills he learns when presenting could help define a future career in that direction? YouTube isn't all bad, there are positive aspects to it. This has opened doors for him in many respects. But we can understand how people can draw conclusions based on what they see and hear in the wider media.
    If you have any particular questions, feel free to reply and we will try to answer them if we see them!

  3. I'm not 100 percent sure that children have a place on youtube, or the internet, at all. For many, obvious reasons. I have a feeling there are going to be many negative side effects that will, and have, come from this new generation of children being exploited on YouTube. It's sad that parents can so easily look past possible risks, the moment money is mentioned. That being said, we don't have the slightest clue what damage will present itself later on…but let's focus on looking at the positive aspects for the time being?

    As for a child giving reason for why they want to partake in being a YouTube creator, they dont have the slightest clue as to what they want to do and why they want to. This is why children are supposed to focus on growing up, learning and enjoy growing while they're still young, care free. Theres something truly sinister about this social generation, now that it's being projected onto young children.

  4. In the parenting aspect, the first mother not allowing her child to post their videos public and disabled comments while monitoring her child's youtube is a great way to protect and secure a child from internet harm. It's crazy that a young child could be even remotely allowed to publish a video of themselves on YouTube. I don't think pretending youtube doesn't exist for a child would solve the problem but monitoring and probably setting boundaries or time schedule and limits could. Rather youtube being a tv, maybe it could only be used for school and learning purposes. Youtube fame is not really a healthy reliable life goal especially for a child.
    Those are my thoughts.

  5. Um I usally never got a toy and I didnt mind I didn't unless you watch tv you saw other kids play then yeah you be sad you want it. Mind control at Best. Parents I guess you dont care about your kids. They should enjoy life not be working so sad.

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