Nearly 90% of Americans think it's wrong to make money from photos of children on social media

Jake Paul/YouTubeJake Paul and Tydus Talbott, also known as ‘Mini Jake Paul.’ Talbott is a toddler who became an internet celebrity through Instagram and YouTube accounts controlled by his parents.
  • Only 12.5% of Americans think it’s OK for parents to make money from photos of their kids on social media, according to an INSIDER poll.
  • The practice of profiting from photos of kids is common among parenting bloggers and the parents of child social media influencers – even as many of them have been ensnared by scandal.
  • A majority of Americans don’t think its OK for parents to post photos of their children on public social media accounts at all.

Only a small fraction of Americans think it’s acceptable for parents to make money from photos of their children posted on social media, even as the practice is widespread among parenting bloggers and children who are Instagram influencers.

According to a poll conducted by INSIDER, only 12.5% of Americans say it’s acceptable for parents to post photos of their kids on social media and make money from the practice.

At the same time, there’s a subset of influencers who do exactly that. Parenting bloggers often post pictures of their children in monetized posts on social media, or use family photos to build their brands.

Life with lil tayThe Zeus NetworkClaire Hope, also known as Lil Tay, became famous through an Instagram account controlled by her mother and older brother.

And some children are influencers themselves, often through accounts controlled by their parents. Tydus Talbott, also known as “Mini Jake Paul,” for example, became famous at the age of four through YouTube and Instagram accounts controlled by his parents, which now cumulatively have more than 2 million followers. And Claire Hope – more famous as Lil Tay – is an 11-year-old who developed a massive Instagram following through an account controlled by her mother and older brother.


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And some of them have been ensnared in scandals. Justin McClure, who vlogs and posts photos of his biracial children, was widely criticised in July for a series of unearthed racist tweets. Katie Bower, another popular parenting blogger, endured criticism herself after saying one of her children was less popular then her others on Instagram “from a statistical point of view.”

But even as accounts like these have tens of millions of followers, most Americans find them unacceptable.

Parents posting kids on social media table orderShayanne Gal/INSIDERWe asked Americans how they feel about people posting images of their kids on social media.

A vast majority of Americans don’t think it’s OK to post photos of children in a way that doesn’t maintain their privacy. Only 6.7% think it’s OK to post photos of children and include their personal information without making money from them.

A slim majority, 51.5%, don’t think it’s acceptable for parents to post public photos of their children at all: 38.2% say photos of children should be posted to only private accounts, and 13.3% say it’s not OK under any circumstances.

Poll respondents were divided about the age when a child is capable of consenting to allow their parents to post photos of them on social media. 56.9% say children can give permission when they’re 13, and 60.9% don’t think people can give consent until they’re 18.

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weight its sample based on race or income. Total 1,025 completed respondents December 21-22, margin of error plus or minus 3.12 percentage points with 95% confidence level.

Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.

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