17 August 2023- Rep. Torren Ecker (R-Adams/Cumberland) announced Thursday he will be introducing legislation to regulate social media child influencers and celebrities under Pennsylvania’s Child Labor Law.
“We always hear about the devastating later-life impact that childhood celebrity and wealth can have on those who experience fame early in life. Now, every parent or relative with a cellphone can work to make their children or relatives into social media celebrities that, without their consent, can deprive children of privacy, income from their work, and fair working conditions within the scope of current law,” Ecker said. “As someone with an active social media presence and young children, I know there is a fine line between appropriate inclusion of young children on social media platforms and exploitation.”
According to a co-sponsorship memo preceding the introduction of legislation, Ecker’s legislation will protect children under Pennsylvania’s Child Labor Law who earn money as influencers and content-makers or whose likeness, name, or photograph is substantially featured in a parent or guardian’s content that generates income for the parent.
Some childhood social media influencers make over $50 million per year.
“While I normally believe government should take a hands-off approach to regulating private business, protecting children from exploitation is of paramount importance in any society,” Ecker said. “We must make sure that we are putting children in the best possible position to have healthy and successful lives.”
You can view Ecker’s co-sponsorship memo https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=41289.