Federal Trade Commission regulations regarding children’s television programming and the advertisements shown during those shows have not yet been applied to children’s online entertainment.
This means that kids who view micro influencers, also known as “influencer kids”, consume the content with less ad supervision. Public health officials fear that this will cause them to become obese.
You are what you eat
A study published by the Journal of Pediatrics He says that 90% of the food in content that child celebs appear is unhealthy. Other studies Likewise, I found a link between childhood obesity and fast food marketing.
According to the New York Times, “Studies show that children are not able to distinguish between commercials and cartoons until they are eight or nine years old, and they are more likely to prefer unhealthy foods and drinks after seeing ads for them.”
Public health officials are concerned that levels of childhood obesity, which have risen dramatically since the 1970s, may continue to increase thanks to unhealthy influences and influencers.
Putting “influence” into “influencer”
The impact these kids have can be enormous – as evidenced by their massive audience. Nine-year-old Ryan Kaji, star of “Ryan’s World” (the YouTube game review channel run by his parents) has an audience of over 27 million subscribers. Last year, he made $ 26 million through his channel, which made him the biggest YouTube earner of 2019.
Kaji made a paid promotion to fast food companies, including McDonald’s and Carl’s Jr. And Hardee’s. Other content featuring childrens celebrities features tastings of other unhealthy foods like Oreos and Pop-Tarts.
What can the law do?
In 2019 FTC complaint has been filed against Kaji Channel, Claiming that it has not properly disclosed the content that contains paid ads, which could be misleading to young children.
Thanks to the lack of clear regulations or federal laws, individual platforms are often left to create and enforce content guidelines. The YouTube Kids app, for example, does not allow any paid promotional content, although kidfluencer videos can also be viewed without these restrictions on the YouTube website and app.
A pair of democracy US Senators introduced legislation It would expand some TV protections for children online, including by limiting the use of “manipulative” ads. Experts say the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations for children’s television could easily be expanded to also include child-facing Internet content if the commission chooses to do so.
With the internet rapidly changing the ways people consume content, regulations don’t always follow at the same speed. As influencers grow into huge forces on the Internet, new challenges and legal questions are bound to arise.