There are dozens of YouTube channels that feature kids as the main stars, and with most of them, the children’s parents are behind the scenes managing and promoting videos, planning out stunts, and collecting the cash from ads.
But do some of these YouTube parents take things too far? Are they the new “stage moms” of the digital age?
YouTube Parents: Are They Out of Control?
One California mom, Holly Piazza, stuck her 8-year-old kid in the back of a truck filled with Orbeez, which are tiny balls that suck up water. She and her boyfriend then cruised through Corona, their SoCal hometown, with her son, Rocco, and his 20-year-old nanny in the back.
When they were done with the stunt, cops nailed the pair with child endangerment charges and gave them a ticket for illegal dumping; it turns out the couple dumped the Orbeez into the street, and from there, the beads clogged drainage areas and made a huge mess for the city to clean up.
This mom’s not alone, though. Parents are letting—and possibly encouraging—kids do everything from eating cicadas to performing risky stunts for the camera on YouTube videos. Some parents even advertise the fact that their kids are raking in the cash by making YouTube videos and tell others how to get in on the deal.
So what’s really happening here? Are these parents exploiting their kids for the ad revenue that YouTube videos can bring in? To many, it looks that way. It’s not just about the parents making money, though; it’s also about the expectation of privacy that a child should be able to enjoy.
What Do You Think?
Do you believe the parents of child YouTube stars are actually exploiting their kids? I’d love to hear your take on this relatively new phenomenon, so share your thoughts on my Facebook page or on Twitter.