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Teens speak out against being used as viral social bait by parents

At what point does it become exploitation?

Influencers behind a camera
Image: Pexels

Teen influencers are taking a bold stand against their families as they break their silence and speak out about being used as viral social bait by their parents.

In a piece featured in Teen Vogue, an unnamed child influencer has taken a stance against their family, using their childhood as the main focus of their parent’s viral content.

The piece centers around a teen named Claire, who grew up under the spotlight of a social media brand created by their parents.

Millions of followers have watched Claire’s every move, with photos, merchandise, and a YouTube channel with over a billion views and boast millions of subscribers, all centered around this young influencer.

Via Teen Vouge:

Once, she told her dad she didn’t want to do YouTube videos anymore and he told her they would have to move out of their house and her parents would have to go back to work, leaving no money for “nice things.”

From a young age, Claire has felt financial pressure to help support her family. Both of their parents quit their jobs after going viral on YouTube.

When Claire said they didn’t want to make videos anymore, their parents said they’d have to sell the house, go back to work, and have no more money for “nice things.”

“It’s a lot of pressure,” Claire said in their interview. “Nothing they do now is going to take back the years of work I had to put in.”

Empowering or exploitative

Youtube ar makeup

With the increasing popularity of social media platforms, the number of child and teen influencers has grown alarmingly. This survey, confirmed by the New York Times, validates this claim.

While it can be empowering for young people to have a voice and a platform to share their thoughts and ideas, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that some parents are using their children’s fame to gain social media clout and financial gain.

Claire’s story proves that.

We need to take a hard look at this trend. Let’s not let their cuteness blind us to the potential harm from exploiting them for likes and follows.

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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