McNally, Grim Introduce Kidfluencer Protection Act

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Two state representatives have introduced legislation aimed at ensuring proper compensation for child influencers’ labor.

State Reps. Lauren McNally of Youngtown, D-59th, and Michele Grim of Toledo, D-43rd, introduced The Kidfluencer Protection Act on Tuesday.

“Child labor laws are not new, but the technology and ways someone can make a buck off kids has changed. We need to update the law to keep up with their ever-changing world and prevent any possible exploitation,” McNally said during a press conference Tuesday. “The Kidfluencer Protection Act recognizes the difference between a parent casually sharing images of their children online and someone who has turned the images of their children into a business. There shouldn’t be any exceptions for any businesses when it comes to child labor, and regulating that practice is in the best interest of the child, the economy and our state in the long run.” 

The Kidfluencer Protection Act would require adult vloggers who feature minors in their content to set aside a certain amount of funds for those minors, placing them in a trust that can be accessed when the minor turns 18. 

The amount set aside would be determined by a “minimum contribution” of one-half of the percentage of the time the likeness, name or photograph of a vlogging minor was featured in a vlog, multiplied by the gross earning for that vlog in a calendar year. Additionally, once a minor reaches age 18, they may request the removal of any vlog that includes their image or likeness. Online platforms would have to take all reasonable steps to comply with these requests.

“Currently, there are few widespread resources providing guidance on responsible, ethical, age-appropriate digital citizenship for children,” said former childhood star Alyson Stoner, who was in attendance for the press conference. “Further, given workplaces often do not include children, they are an easily overlooked population when it comes to establishing proper protections and, regardless, there are limited ways to monitor the safety and living conditions of kids on social media.”

The Kidfluencer Protection Act will soon receive a bill number and assignment to a House committee.

Pictured at top: From left are House Minority Leader Allison Russo, state Rep. Lauren McNally, Alyson Stoner and state Rep. Michele Grim.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.