Chicago — Family vlogs, which often share intimate details of children’s lives, are one of the most popular forms of content on platforms like TikTok. Though they’ve garnered brand deals worth thousands of dollars per video, there haven't been many regulations in place for the industry.
But next summer, child social media influencers in Illinois could benefit from a new law that’ll ensure they are compensated for their work, according to the Associated Press.
The law — which was inspired by a 15-year-old in Democratic Sen. David Koehler’s district and will go into effect July 1, 2024 — entitles child influencers under the age of 16 to a percentage of earnings based on how often they appear on video blogs or online content that generate at least 10 cents per view.
The content must be created in Illinois, and kids will have to be featured in at least 30% of the content over a span of 30 days.
For Koehler, who sponsored the Illinois legislation, it came amid “the rise of social media” which has “given children new opportunities to earn a profit.”
“Many parents have taken this opportunity to pocket the money, while making their children continue to work in these digital environments,” he said.
According to the law, vloggers will be responsible for maintaining records of kids’ appearances and must set aside gross earnings for the child in a trust account for when they turn 18. While this kind of protection isn’t new, it’s the first law that specifically targets young social media stars, said Landon Jacquinot, who is tracking child labor legislation for the National Conference of State Legislatures.
“We could see other states looking into doing something similar, especially in states that have a high volume of family vloggers and social media influencers,” such as California and New York, Jacquinot said. “It’s kind of a new world.”
Noah Johnson (he/him/his) is a Chicago-based journalist. Follow him on Twitter: @noahwritestoo.
Edited by NaTyshca Pickett