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Simone van der Hof on RTL Nieuws about rights of 'kidfluencers'

Mums posting photos and videos of their child on Instagram and TikTok and also earning loads of money doing so. Kidfluencers, momvloggers and familyvlogs are very popular, in the Netherlands too. But the lack of legislation regulating these activities means that these children are barely protected. Simone van der Hof, Professor of Law and Digital Technologies, commented on this on the site of RTL Nieuws.

Van der Hof: 'It often starts with a vlog or message from a child or the father or mother on Instagram or TikTok - just a bit of fun. Then a few posts go viral and a bit of money is made. Eventually, there’s a tipping point when you wonder if posting online content is just a hobby or if children are contributing to part of the monthly income.’

Another question to ask is whether teenage children will still like seeing images of themselves as a toddler in a paddling pool (images that remain findable). Van der Hof also wonders why children’s rights are regulated for TV, for instance, but not for social media. ‘We need to ask ourselves where the tipping point is: when is this no longer healthy for a child?’ 

When a child’s rights – the right to play, to privacy and to develop their own identity – are compromised, it is important to have a clear framework says Van der Hof.  ‘A framework that considers the age of the child and the support system of parents and children. A 3-year-old female toddler whose photos are posted online is different from a teenager who likes to vlog herself. The main issue is whether the child can make the choice themselves and oversee the consequences.’

Van der Hof hopes that the Dutch legislation in place for children who work will also apply to this kind of new situation. ‘The law in France is a good example, although a special account might go a bit far; we don't do that for other forms of child labour either. But it’s good to see how other forms of child labour are regulated and, if valid, to apply them in our legislation as well.’

The full article (in Dutch) is available on the site of RTL Nieuws.

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