We all love seeing a cute baby picture popping up on our timeline to brighten our day. However, imagine posting a picture of your child’s daily routine for the whole world to see.
Well, that’s what some families have chosen to do, such as Youtubers The Saccone Joly’s and The Labrant Family. Even TikTok cannot escape, with a child (@wren.eleanor) going viral on an account controlled by her mother.
At first glance, these family vlogger accounts may seem harmless. But unfortunately, posting your child on the internet has a darker side that may make you question the ethics behind it. Here’s a quick look…
The Issue Of Consent
The issue of consent around children being filmed may not seem that obvious at first. Although, it is important to consider whether family vloggers actually ask their children for their consent to be filmed or not. It also highlights how some videos include children that are too young even to communicate and therefore have no way of saying no to being filmed. For example, this is evident in The LaBrant family’s Youtube videos that included their then 1-year-old child, Posie. In addition to this, many family vlogging children have grown up with cameras around them their whole lives. This may make the child unaware of having the option to say no as they don’t know any different.
With over 17 million followers on Tiktok, it’s not an understatement to say that 3-year-old Wren Eleanor may be considered one of the most famous children on the internet. The TikTok account is run by Wren’s mother, Jacquelyn, who describes it as a “digital scrapbook” of her daughter. However, Wren’s viewers started to notice something disturbing every time Jacquelyn posted a video of her daughter. Worryingly, the Tiktoks were being saved by viewers in very large numbers. This includes the video below, which has been saved over 386,000 times. This is very disturbing, especially considering the content of the video, which seems very inappropriate. This causes us to ask, what are the people doing with the saved videos of Wren?
Tiktok users also started to notice alarming comments left by men underneath the videos, commenting on the little girl’s appearance. A man even duetted one of Wren’s Tiktok’s to comment how beautiful she was. It has also been speculated that some of Wren’s videos have even been posted to porn sites. This is something that Jacquelyn denies when she chooses to address the situation on Tiktok:
Despite the saves, comments, and speculation, Jacquelyn still posts videos of her daughter regularly. Would you continue to do this?
Exploitation Or Documentation?
Another concern of posting your child on the internet is whether it can be considered exploitation or documentation. This is something that The Saccone Joly Family faced with their family vlogging Youtube channel. Anna and Jonathan have four children: Emilia, Eduardo, Alessia, and Andrea. Recently, Eduardo has become transgender and is now known as Edie. This brave decision and process were all documented by Jonathan. There has been widespread criticism of Jonathan’s choice to film this, considering the young age of his child and the significance of Edie’s decision. Understandably, this has prompted accusations of exploitation, with Jonathan framed as using his own child for views.
What do you think?
Despite what’s been written, the aim of this article is not to hate on these families for sharing their children and family life. That’s their own choice. Nevertheless, it’s important to highlight the darker side of posting your child online to a large audience.
Would you still choose to post your child so openly for everyone to see after reading this?