Child influencers lash out at parents who turned them into social media stars

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The children of parents who used them for internet fame are beginning to speak out on the recent explosion of family “vloggers” on TikTok and YouTube, and the negative impact having a digital footprint that they had no control of has had on them.

A well-known child “influencer” using the pseudonym “Claire” told Teen Vogue on Friday about the drama and discomfort her family’s vlog channel with millions of subscribers has caused, saying “it’s a lot of pressure,” and that she has plans to speak out against the exploitation publicly once she’s 18 and able to move out. She’s even “considering going no-contact with her parents,” interviewer Fortesa Latifi wrote.

According to the publication, the channel includes “hundreds of videos featuring Claire and members of her family,” showing the girl grow from a toddler into a teenager over the years.

“On Instagram, fans comment they miss videos from the old days. In public, people sometimes recognize her and ask for photos. Altogether, the family’s YouTube channel has over a billion views but if it were up to Claire, none of the videos would exist.,” Latifi said.

Claire told the outlet that her parents left their jobs when she went viral as a small child in order to grow their YouTube page, which got them a nicer house and car.

“That’s not fair that I have to support everyone,” she said. “I try not to be resentful but I kind of [am].”

She recounted how when she once told her father that she wanted to stop making videos, she was told that her parents would need to get jobs again, they would have to move out of their house, and would stop having money for “nice things.”