Minnesota To Ban ‘Kidfluencers’, Social Media Accounts That Profit Off Kids

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Kidfluencer

The Minnesota House has passed House File 3488, a significant step towards regulating social media accounts that profit from featuring children under 14. This Minnesota social media bill, sponsored by Rep. Zack Stephenson, has garnered robust bipartisan support, with 103 votes in favor and 26 against. If approved by the Senate and signed into law, it will come into effect in July 2025, making Minnesota the second state in the U.S. to enact such regulations.

Per a report, the bill is designed to address concerns surrounding the exploitation and privacy of children featured by Minnesota social media influencers. It takes a strong stance by prohibiting the monetization of content showcasing children under 14, otherwise knows as ‘kidfluencer.’ It also ensures that a portion of earnings from accounts featuring children is set aside for the child in a trust account. Moreover, the bill stipulates that minors under 14 must appear in at least 30% of the videos produced, a provision aimed at preventing incidental appearances from triggering the regulations which could lead to kidfluencers exploitation.

During House floor debate, Rep. Stephenson cited a New York Times investigation highlighting instances of parents profiting from images and videos of their children, including sexualized content. Critics and supporters raised concerns and offered differing perspectives on the bill’s scope and impact. However, Stephenson emphasized the importance of ensuring that children involved in content creation receive fair compensation and protection of their rights, acknowledging the challenges in crafting legislation that balances free speech rights with the need to safeguard children’s welfare and streamlining what could be kidfluencer pros and cons.

Rep. Dawn Gillman, R-Dassel, shared anecdotes of families earning substantial incomes from social media accounts featuring family life, highlighting the financial stakes involved. She expressed concern about the burden on these families to meticulously track their children’s appearances and earnings to comply with the proposed regulations. Gillman’s remarks underscore the complex considerations surrounding the intersection of social media, family livelihoods, and child welfare.

Meanwhile, Rep. Walter Hudson, R-Albertville, questioned whether this new social media ban bill adequately targeted those who profit from sexualizing children, suggesting a more targeted approach. He also raised concerns about the provisions allowing children to sue parents for failure to set aside money in trust accounts, questioning the practicality and effectiveness of such measures. Hudson’s remarks reflect ongoing debates over the efficacy and scope of legislative efforts to address online child exploitation and parental accountability.

Currently, more and more legislators are taking a stand on the adverse effects of social media among kids and teens.

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