Family Vlog Channels Are Everything Wrong With Youtube


Arely Ocampo Bartolo, Managing Editors

Being used by your parents as a way to make money; the constant feeling of being watched while having all of your personal information put on display for millions of people’s viewing pleasure. 

No, I’m not describing the next horror movie. I’m describing family vlog channels, one of the most dangerous things to ever become a part of the internet. Something that began as parents showcasing their wonderful kids has seemed to turn into exploitation as these videos became monetized online. 

Let me start off by emphasizing that the people featured on these channels are children; not teens or adults that can make their own decisions, but small, innocent, helpless, impressionable, and easily manipulated children.

Most of the time, these kids are introduced to social media and the internet at a very young age (or even before birth). By the time they realize what’s going on (and the extent of who is watching hung them online, they feel as though they can’t opt-out of being in videos because vlogs are all they’ve ever known. 

This goes without mentioning that it is because of these children that families are able to afford things like new cars, million-dollar mansions, and even luxury brands on the daily, seeing as though most of these internet families make the vast majority of their money from their YouTube vlog channels.

These kids are being reduced to cash cows for their families, and they become their family’s main source of income. 

Not only are these kids left without a say in when or where they are recorded, but they also have no control over what material their parents decide to keep in the video.

Awkward conversations such as failing a class, going through puberty, mental health struggles, or even their first kiss end up being displayed for the whole world to see and the kids have no say over this.

Not only do family vlog channels completely violate childrens’ privacy, but it becomes dangerous to the child in a more serious way. 

Unfortunately, YouTube has no restrictions (besides the disabling of comments) on channels that feature young children. That leaves the space open for anyone, anywhere to have 24/7 access to videos featuring young children. 

I won’t go into too much detail out of respect for people who have dealt with this, but if anyone can see videos of these kids whenever they want….let’s just not think about who could be watching these videos of children.

There’s no way to say this nicely. Family vlog channels are one of the worst things to be introduced to society. And unfortunately, the way that things are looking in the digital space, they don’t seem to be going anywhere, anytime soon. 

Now, there are families with channels that feature the perfect balance, where the kid isn’t the star of the show 24/7 but instead, they’re a side character, and they aren’t filmed when they feel bad or are having a rough time. This is what all vlog channels should do rather than exploit their children, and unfortunately, ethical family channels like this few and far between.