Should 4-year-olds have Instagram accounts? Woman claims her daughter, 2, ‘enjoys’ being on social media – while father brands it ‘complete exploitation’ in heated GMB debate
- Vicki Broadbent revealed her two-year-old ‘enjoys’ being on social media
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A debate erupted on Good Morning Britain today over whether it is wrong for parents to set up Instagram accounts for their children.
Blogger Vicki Broadbent insisted that her two-year-old ‘enjoys’ being on social media, while podcaster Marvyn Harrison claimed it ‘is complete exploitation.’
The debate comes after footballer Phil Foden set up an Instagram account for his four-year-old son, Ronnie, who has gained almost four million followers.
Vickie, who runs HonestMum.com, said: ‘My kids have a lot of fun doing it, they have grown a lot and learnt a lot. There is no difference them having a separate account because the way Instagram works is, you control it from your parental account, so you regulate it.’
However Marvyn, founder of Dope Black Dads podcast, said: ‘To give your child an actual account for people to follow their whole life’s journey, document that for the whole world to see, without a filter, without a barrier, ultimately is complete exploitation.
‘The fact that they are doing it for money is even worse. It is one thing if someone asks you to be a part of something and the children are involved, that’s one level. We are now taking it to another level where we are making them stars at the age of four.
‘Who are these three million people who desire to follow a four-year-old in their day to day life?’
He added: ‘It’s about safeguarding, so children having their life documented before they even know what the ramifications are makes it really dangerous for the child.
‘You can find people who can put that child at risk, so we have seen the David Beckham documentary were he talked about when he got sent off for England, how scary it was for his children.’
However Vicki argued that once parents are in control of the social media accounts it is safe.
She said: ‘I used to be a TV director, I directed kids in drama, there’s no difference because I am in control of the content that I am creating, and when we work with brands that is the same thing.’
Asked by host Richard Madeley if she’s ‘exploiting’ her children the mum-of-three said her children enjoy being online.
She said: ‘I don’t think so, I don’t force them, brands say I can cover their faces if I want, obviously I have got a two-year-old so she doesn’t have an agency, but my older children do, and she really enjoys it.
A debate erupted on Good Morning Britain today over whether it is wrong for parents to set up Instagram accounts for their children. Mum blogger Vicki Broadbent revealed her two-year-old ‘enjoys’ being on social media
Vickie, who runs HonestMum.com, often shares snaps of her children online including her two-year-old daughter Florence
She added: ‘Sadly the workplace isn’t structured very well for woman as we know, so for me as a TV director, I was working 12 hour days, it wasn’t compatible, so actually as a creator I was able to raise my kids, so I had the short straw in the workplace, so by working online I was able to be at home.’
Marvyn argued: ‘How has this become a mothering issue, it’s about the children, it’s about their safeguarding and it’s about you documenting them and exploiting them for money, you can’t commercialise parenting in that way.
‘This is too much, I actually find it quite uncomfortable how much we are prepared to just trust our children in.’
Many rushed to X, formerly known as Twitter, to leave their own thoughts on the subject, with some saying they don’t see a problem with it.
Marvyn Harrison, founder of Dope Black Dads podcast, claimed it ‘is complete exploitation’
Many rushed to X, formerly known as Twitter, to leave their own thoughts on the subject, with some saying they don’t see a problem with it
While others argued that children should not have their own social media accounts
One person wrote: ‘Do whatever you can to make as much money for your kids as you can. Otherwise they will be stuck at home forever. My son is on 52k a year, yet 15k gets taken off him in tax/NI & he’ll struggle to afford to leave home. Life is too expensive. Get as much money as you can together!’
Another said: ‘I don’t think it’s a bad idea, since the parents are the ones practically handling the account and not the kid.’
Someone else said: ‘No different to families putting videos or pictures of their kids online.’
While others argued that children should not have their own social media accounts.
One person said: ‘Why would anyone In their right mind want their 4-year-old child to have a social media account !!!!!!!!!! unless they crave attention that much!!?? they should be sectioned and prevented from procreating!!’
Another said: ‘I think the worrying thing is who is actually following a four-year-old on any social media, and the parents need to realise is not a good world we live in, and perverts will follow the child. Time to wake up!!!’
While someone else wrote: ‘Definitely wrong, surely they must have rules against this ,clearly exploiting the children for fame or money.’
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