The National Assembly has just passed the law regulating the work of child influencers under the age of 16. Remuneration, hours, the right to be forgotten … Parents now have to comply with the rules or face criminal penalties.
Lots of risks
The law was first proposed by Bas-Rhin LREM MP Bruno Studer and passed at first reading last February and then submitted to the Senate, which made some changes. It has just been finally elected unanimously by the National Assembly (69 votes).
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The text provides a legal framework for children who are represented in videos on social networks such as YouTube or Instagram. These platforms contain a variety of content in which children unpack toys, reveal scenes from their daily life, or promote brands. Problem: In most cases, it’s the parents who own the channel or account and get the income. These can reach 150,000 euros per month, so they can stop all activities.
“Aside from questions about the rights of the child that certain staged activities can raise, the impact celebrities can have on children’s psychological development, the risks of cyber harassment, even child pornography, and the fact that these activities are in opposition about the children of the show are not regulated by labor law, ”raises questions, explains the National Assembly. Think of the problems YouTube moderators encountered when it was discovered that there were a lot of pedophiles active on the platform.
They receive income when they are of legal age
As a result, the income generated by this content must henceforth be paid into an account of the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and can be received by the child if he reaches his majority. This measure is similar to that for the work of child actors, models or singers. For their part, parents can only receive 10% of this income and must obtain prefectural approval in order for their child to work as an influencer.
In addition, the text provides that “the conditions of employment of the child are compatible with their schooling and the protection of their health”. If the conditions are not met, a judge can be referred: The legal representative then risks a prison sentence of up to 5 years and a fine of 75,000 euros.
Platforms have to bear more responsibility
Article 5 of the law provides that these children will be forgotten. Platforms are therefore obliged to remove the content in which they appear if they so request. Indeed, the text seeks to hold social networks accountable by participating more actively in the “detection of problematic audiovisual content” and creating “an obligation to work with authorities”. Failure to comply with the law will result in a fine of up to 75,000 euros.
With this law, France becomes a pioneer in this field and takes a step forward for children’s rights.