Illinois Becomes 1st State With Law That Protects Child Influencers

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A child plays with Goobands slimes during the press day of the annual Toy Fair at the Olympia exhibition centre in London, on January 23, 2018. The Toy Fair is the only dedicated toy, game and hobby exhibition in the UK, featuring over 250 exhibiting companies. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMEN (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Abril Elfi
5:13 PM – Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Illinois passed a law that ensures that children who are shown on social media are paid by their parents who profit off of them. 

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On Friday, Illinois became the first state to implement a new law that requires adults who make money off of their children’s content to set away a portion of their earnings in a trust that they can use when they get older.

16-year-old Shreya Nallamothu noted that during the COVID-19 pandemic she began to spend more time on social media. She noticed many parents began documenting their young children’s lives on social platforms. 

She told the press that she specifically was struck by seeing kids who she thought were not old enough to know the full consequences of being posted online.

“The more I fell down that rabbit hole, I kept seeing cases of exploitation,” she said. “Especially for very young children who maybe don’t understand what talking to a camera means and they’re not able to conceptualize what a million people looks like, they don’t understand what they’re putting out into the internet for profit and that it’s not going to be able to go away and that their parents are making money off of it.” 

According to Governor J.B. Pritzker (D-Ill.), who signed into law S.B. 1782, this is a legislation that “creates a private right of action for child influencers against their parents that featured them in videos and did not properly compensate them.”  

State Senator David Koehler (D-Ill), who introduced the law, attributes its inspiration to Nallamothu. It is reported that when Nallamothu learned that no states at the time had laws protecting child influencers, she contacted Koehler’s office.

“When I went into it, I wasn’t 100% sure what I was doing. I didn’t go into it expecting to pass a bill within a year,” she said. “I’m very grateful for Sen. Koehler and his team for paying attention to a constituent.”

The recently passed law introduced an amendment to the state’s already in place Child Labor Law. It will now include the participation of children in the realm of social media usage in the statute.

The law states that if within a 30-day period, a kid under the age of 16 appears in at least 30% of a piece of online content for which the adult is being paid, they must receive compensation. The person who creates the video in which the minor appears is in charge of reserving funds in a trust account for the child to obtain at the age of 18.

The law is said to be implemented on January 1st of 2024. 

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