Increase regulations on family vlog channels

Increase regulations on family vlog channels

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Lindsay Marie started this petition to YouTube and

“Family vlogging” is a genre on YouTube that has become increasingly more popular over the past several years. Many of these channels post daily or several times a week and heavily focus on the young children in the family. While this may sound innocent, these children have many private moments of their lives broadcasted for the world to view and comment on. They may be coaxed by their family to participate, and even children who “willingly” participate likely do not understand the scope to which their personal lives are being consumed by strangers.

Many of these family vloggers make the majority of their income through family vlogging and their children are often used to help promote their paid sponsorships. In the film and tv industry, there are regulations put in place to ensure children are not working over a certain number of hours and the children are compensated for their work. With family vlogging, there are no such regulations and no guarantee that these children will ever have access to the money they helped their family earn through their participation in these sponsorships.

With this petition, we are asking YouTube to evaluate ways that they can prevent future or current harm to children who are involved in family vlogging. One such way would be to prohibit children under a certain age (i.e, 12 or younger) to participate in videos that feature sponsored content. YouTube should be adamant about ensuring that children who participate in sponsored content are able to reasonably consent to being involved in the promotion and have a reasonable understanding of what it is they are promoting. Even if the child is not directly involved in the sponsorship section of the video, they are still being used to draw viewers in (i.e, being shown in a thumbnail) who will subsequently view the sponsorship. If a channel does not abide by this rule, they should have a consequence instated by YouTube, such as temporary demonetization of the channel’s videos. This leads to the secondary step YouTube could take— prohibit the use children’s images in thumbnails if they are under a certain age (i.e, under 13). Many family vloggers use the images of their children along with misleading or shocking captions in thumbnails in order to gain views, which leads to a larger income from their videos. This should be considered exploitative behavior and regulated by YouTube. Again, these are only suggestions of possible regulations.

This petition is not aiming to have family vlog channels shut down, but to attempt to protect children who cannot reasonably consent to having their personal lives exploited in order to help their family make an income. Our goal is to have the leaders at YouTube examine their regulations and find ways to protect children from being coaxed into projects and videos they do not fully understand, even if only in a small way. These small regulations as mentioned above may be a fair and reasonable compromise.

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