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Reps. Grim, McNally Introduce The Kidfluencer Protection Act

Legislation creates protections for minors featured on social media
January 10, 2024
Michele Grim News

COLUMBUS – State Reps. Michele Grim (D-Toledo) and Lauren McNally (D-Youngstown) today introduced The Kidfluencer Protection Act, legislation creating regulation for child influencers - kidfluencers - ensuring proper compensation for their labor.

“Kidfluencers often do not see a dime of the earnings they gross. They are largely at the will of their guardians or other adult vloggers to determine what of their childhood is filmed and posted on the internet for profit. This is a largely unregulated industry where swift action is needed to protect minors,” said Rep. Grim.

Former childhood star Alyson Stoner was also in attendance for the press conference. They have been using their platform to advocate for kid influencers throughout the United States.

“Currently, there are few widespread resources providing guidance on responsible, ethical, age-appropriate digital citizenship for children.  Further, given workplaces often do not include children, they are an easily overlooked population when it comes to establishing proper protections, and regardless, there are limited ways to monitor the safety and living conditions of kids on social media,” said Alyson Stoner. “Taking steps to safeguard a portion of child influencers’ earnings and their right to privacy is a crucial step in minimizing the harm that hundreds of thousands of children have experienced across traditional and digital media.” 

The Kidfluencer Protection Act will require adult vloggers who feature minors in their content to set aside a certain amount of funds for those minors, placing them in a trust that can be accessed once the minor turns 18. 

“Child labor laws are not new, but the technology and ways someone can make a buck off kids has changed. We need to update the law to keep up with their ever-changing world and prevent any possible exploitation,” said Rep. McNally. “The Kidfluencer Protection Act recognizes the difference between a parent casually sharing images of their children online and someone who has turned the images of their children into a business. There shouldn’t be any exceptions for any businesses when it comes to child labor, and regulating that practice is in the best interest of the child, the economy, and our state in the long run.” 

The amount set aside would be determined by a “minimum contribution” of one-half of the percentage of the time the likeness, name, or photograph of a vlogging minor was featured in a vlog, multiplied by the gross earning for that vlog in a calendar year.  Additionally, once a minor reaches the age of 18, they may request the removal of any vlog that includes their image or likeness. Online platforms must take all reasonable steps to comply with these requests.

The Kidfluencer Protection Act will soon receive a bill number and assignment to a House Committee.

You can watch the press conference on The Ohio Channel here.

A picture from the press conference is attached to this release. Left to right: House Minority Leader Allison Russo, State Representative Lauren McNally, Alyson Stoner, State Representative Michele Grim.