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The Student News Site of Pembroke Pines Charter High School

CHAT News

The Student News Site of Pembroke Pines Charter High School

CHAT News

Fame over family: The dark side of family vlogging

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Madeline Albear

Countless young viewers have been raised watching family YouTube channels, which have amassed millions of subscribers through the uploading of videos that showcase their day-to-day lives. In the last decade, there has been an increase in family vloggers due to YouTube making their website more family-friendly, and creators have also noticed that family-centered content garners more views. 

In fact, a study conducted by Pew Research in 2019 revealed that YouTube videos featuring children under the age of 13 receive more than three times as many views as videos without children. Many creators see this as a way to guarantee ad revenue due to their videos’ popularity. More children means more views, and consequently, more money. 

Amid their successes, family youtubers have made millions of dollars, all from simply picking up a camera and filming their daily lives; however, the playful vlogs, meet and greets, and financial benefits are only part of a larger, much darker story.

Over the past several years, issues regarding these “wholesome” family vloggers have come to light, including child exploitation, privacy violations, and religious prejudice, as fans have begun to see the truth behind the families they used to watch. 

Utah mother Ruby Frank, who formerly ran the YouTube channel “8 Passengers,” was recently charged with four counts of aggravated child abuse, as evidence surfaced of Franke physically and emotionally abusing her six children, including tying them up, beating and kicking them, refusing them food and water, and even withholding her son a bed to sleep in.

“I was honestly really shocked when I heard about [her arrest], and I feel like that’s when a lot more people started talking about what happens behind the scenes, especially on social media,” expresses PPCHS sophomore Adriana Camara.

This becomes a larger issue when considering the fact that content from these families is often posted on other social media platforms as well, attracting an even larger fanbase. The ACE Family, for instance, is one of the most well-known family channels on social media. The parents, Austin and Catherine McBroom, created Instagram accounts for all of their children, with their eldest daughter having four million followers. 

Even if it is well-intentioned, this content reaches millions of people, violating the child’s privacy. The ACE Family has even admitted that their family content attracts stalkers, which poses a threat to their children. Despite this, the parents continue to utilize their children for profit. 

“I used to watch their videos when I was little, and it’s crazy because now everyone is talking about the truth of these families, so it just makes you think,” shares junior Alessandra Moreno. 

Numerous child labor laws have been enacted in order to protect children working in the entertainment industry. The Fair Labor Standards Act was enacted in 1938 to address excessive child labor, and the California Coogan Act, passed the following year, protects child actors. Now, many people are advocating for these laws to be extended to “child influencers,” as neither of them have been updated to include online child labor. 

In countless cases, fame has prompted the parents who manage these YouTube channels to abandon the well-being of their children for their own benefits. These parents have turned a blind-eye to their responsibilities as parents, and instead, have submitted to the poor ethics of exploiting their own children.

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About the Contributors
Lizbeth Manoj
Lizbeth Manoj, Staff Writer
Hey! My name is Lizbeth and I’m currently a sophomore. I love hanging out with my friends and family. This is my first year as a Staff Writer and I’m so excited to write for the CHAT this year. You can contact me at [email protected].
Madeline Albear
Madeline Albear, Graphics Staff
Hello! My name is Madeline Albear. I am currently a sophomore and this is my first year being part of the CHAT. I am part of the Graphics team and am trying to learn more about photoshop and stuff like that. When I'm not doing anything to do with school I enjoy reading or doing anything crafty. I am also a theatre kid and listen to a lot of music. If you need to contact me: [email protected] 

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