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Wren Eleanor and the not – so innocent world of kid-fluencers

Home screen with TikTok and other apps
Image: iStock

People are getting concerned about children safety online.

According to The Australian, concerns over American toddler, Wren Eleanor has Australian influencers question posting their children online.

Wren’s mother, Jacquelyn, has received backlash after inappropriate comments were found under videos of the three – year – old. Videos of Wren eating attracted worrying comments.

Jacquelyn called the comments “disturbing”.

Influencers start questioning posting images of their children online

The scare over Wren has made other influencers think twice about posting their children’s images online. Social media creator, Caleb Finn told The Australian:

[Wren] is going to grow up and the mother claims it’s a digital scrapbook for her daughter to look back on, but if you go on any of the videos, it’s all these older people pining for this baby.

Adding to Finn’s comment, many of the comments on Wren’s and other children’s accounts appear to be by men.

Concerns for kids on social media isn’t new

The issue of children on social media has been discussed on social media since 2020. This was largely sparked by Myka and James Stauffer, who exploited, then ‘rehomed’ their Chinese – born adopted son.

Canadian YouTuber, Josh Barbour has been particularly critical of family vloggers who use children. He covered the Stauffer case, and has since exposed other family vloggers such as: Cole and Sav Labrant, Jessfam and Ruby and Kevin Franke (formerly Eight Passengers).

His argument has been consistent: children can’t give informed consent. When asked whether children can give informed consent, former Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and professor, Dr Kirk Honda said: “No. It’s obvious”.

In late 2020, Dr Kirk Honda confirmed that kids can’t properly give consent to having their images/ videos shared online

Barbour has exposed what I mentioned above — that young girls’ accounts are often targeted by men. Children such as Everleigh Labrant (Cole & Sav) and Piper Rockelle are exploited and numerous men make inappropriate comments.

Even infants and toddlers aren’t safe. More recently, Barbour has exposed TikToker, Maia Knight and the inappropriate parasocial relationships created between her twin infant daughters and Knight’s audience.

TMI: parents divulge sensitive and traumatic information

Apart from the sexualisation of young children, family vloggers tend to overshare. They divulge very personal information about their children, especially medical.

Barbour has slammed family vloggers who share their children’s sensitive information and traumas to their subscribers. Earlier this year, he slammed Tiffany Nelson for exploiting adopted daughter, JourNee’s traumatic past.

JourNee is twenty – three, but the video was so uncomfortable to watch. JourNee looked visibly uncomfortable.

Tiffany went into detail about JourNee’s living conditions in Russia before being adopted. JourNee didn’t remember it. Barbour was angered by these revelations.

Having adopted sons himself, he knows how information about trauma should be handled. It’s up to the adopted child when they’re an adult. They can access their file, or let it be. It’s not up to adopted parents to disclose the infornation or make it public.

Family vlogging may have sounded cute and fun. But there’s no other way to say it. It’s exploitation. Every day a parent decides to profit off their child’s image or video, they’re exposing them to danger.

Say it with me: kids can’t consent.