Adult Men Dominate Young Influencer’s Instagram Fanbase

Art by Alexander Shatov via Unsplash

Adult Men Dominate Young Influencer’s Instagram Fanbase

By Movieguide® Contributor

Parents of young influencers are grappling with the side effects of online success, including fanbases made up of adult men. 

The Wall Street Journal recently profiled a mother who helped her young daughter start an Instagram account focused on her dancing hobby as well as her day-to-day life. 

“She became popular really fast,” the mother, who was unnamed, said. However, that popularity came with a dark side — the mom soon noticed that most of the users commenting on her daughter’s posts were adult men. 

She began blocking these users, but as her daughter’s success as an influencer grew, she realized that to get to the next level of online fame, she had to stop getting rid of followers. 

“It’s not that I liked it, ever. Ever. It just is what it is,” the mother said. “If you want to be an influencer and work with brands and get paid, and it all works with how many people like and engage with your post, you have to accept it.”

The WSJ reported that 92% of her daughter’s followers are male. 

Meta has put rules into place to protect young people online, including a requirement that “everyone to be at least 13 years old before they can create an account.”

However, accounts that “represent” someone under 13 years of age can be created, as long as that is made clear on the account page. 

A report from The Verge called Meta’s attempts at content moderation “inadequate.”

“Meta responded to just one of the 50 reports [The New York Times] made regarding questionable content featuring children over a period of eight months,” the outlet wrote. “One internal study conducted by Meta in 2020 and revealed in court documents found that 500,000 child Instagram accounts had ‘inappropriate’ interactions every day.”

The mother and daughter profiled by the WSJ shared that their account was recently taken down and are torn over whether or not they want to create another one. 

“She just wants to figure out how to keep working with her brands and do her job,” the mom said. “I would love to boycott Instagram altogether, but that’s really hard if you’re trying to work with brands.”

Movieguide® previously reported on the backlash against a proposed “Instagram for Kids”:

Facebook shelved their idea to introduce an Instagram app specifically for children ages 10-12, with head of Instagram Adam Mosseri says it is “the right thing to do.” 

The backlash against Facebook’s “Instagram Kids” project was instantaneous, including cautions from 40 state attorneys and other advocacy groups who noted how social media negatively affects and targets children…

“Critics of ‘Instagram Kids’ will see this as an acknowledgment that the project is a bad idea. That’s not the case. The reality is that kids are already online, and we believe that developing age-appropriate experiences designed specifically for them is far better for parents than where we are today,” Mosseri said

“While we stand by the need to develop this experience, we’ve decided to pause this project,” Mosseri wrote. “This will give us time to work with parents, experts, policymakers and regulators, to listen to their concerns, and to demonstrate the value and importance of this project for younger teens online today.”

Despite Mosseri’s arguments, multiple reports indicate that social media causes nothing but harm for children and teenagers. Increasing news stories focus on the devastation of social media trends, such as TikTok’s “devious licks” pranks, and the devastating online bullying found on Instagram.

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