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The student news site of Stroudsburg High School

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March Madness Basketball Tournament; see class president, Eric Card.
3x3 Basketball Tournament
March 6, 2024

March Madness 3 x 3 basketball tournament on March 15, starting at 4pm.  Contact your class president, Eric Card, or class officers for more...

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Stroudsburg High Schools promotional Flyer for the King of Hearts dance.
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Luka Konklin, Editor-In-Chief • January 26, 2024

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If you need tutoring, please join the Google Classroom so we can match you up with someone to help you. (Logo credit: NHS)
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Photo of track superstar Alena Murray, 11, taken at a track meet of her in action.
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Photo credit: Berlin Ulmer, 11.
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Madison Noonan, Writer • April 17, 2024

Boys' tennis played Allentown Central Catholic on April 8, but the match was a shut-out. The team suffered a devastating loss with a score of 6-0.  On April 10th, the...

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Uproar surrounds family vlogging phenomenon

Many families under fire for child exploitation
Posed+picture+of+Ms.+Colleen+Denehan+taking+a+picture+of+sleeping+child.+
Luka Konklin
Posed picture of Ms. Colleen Denehan taking a picture of sleeping child.

How would you feel if your entire life was put on blast?

As a young adult, your main job is discovering who you are. Naturally, embarrassment is a part of that process. 

Most people have experienced a bad haircut or worn terrible outfits on the first day of school. Typically, one can attempt to erase moments from their memory. However, if embarrassing moments are permanently displayed on the internet for potentially millions to see, it is impossible to start fresh.

“It’s nice that my mom posts me, but sometimes she doesn’t ask which pictures to post so I have no control over what part of myself goes on the internet,” says Zoe-Marie Brown, 12. 

Family vlogging is a new phenomenon, “with viewing time for family vloggers increasing by 90% in 2017 and still increasing to this day,” according to TheScienceSurvey.com

My parents don’t use social media, it feels great to know that everything online of me is because of me.

— Julian Gajewski, 12

Many viewers enjoy watching a seemingly perfect family, but parents of family vlog channels have recently been under fire for allegedly exploiting their children for profit. 

YouTube family vlogger, Ruby Franke, received massive backlash in response to her family’s YouTube channel, 8 Passengers

After a disturbing 911 call from a neighbor, Franke was arrested on August 30, 2023, on two counts of aggravated child abuse. According to NBCNews.com, her youngest children, Eve (9) and Russell Franke (12), were found malnourished and wounded.

The Franke family is not the only family that has been accused of exploiting their children for content. 

Screenshot of @feliciaybrown’s, mother of Zoe-Marie Brown, post on Instagram. (Luka Konklin)

Julian Gajewski, 12, remembers a YouTube channel entitled Roman Atwood Vlogs

Gajewski recalls the vlogger posted a video dropping off their eldest son in the middle of the freeway. 

“Realistically he probably went back and picked him up, but how desperate are you for views that you drop your son off in the middle of the freeway,” says Gajewski. 

Why families partake in vlogging is no mystery. Parents are able to stay home with their children and are provided with lucrative opportunities and public appearances that the children would otherwise not be able to partake in.

The issue appears when the line is blurred between parent and manager. 

“Family vlogging looks great at first glance, but when you think deeper, you can see the true effects of it,” says Benjamin Domanski, 12.

When parents are more concerned with filming pivotal moments in a child’s life rather than comforting and supporting a child in need,  children can feel unimportant or as if they are constantly “on the clock”.

Being utilized for content can cause intense psychological damage to a young child, according to TheScienceSurvey.com  

Sometimes I’ll show my son a picture before I post it and he’ll tell me if he likes it.

— Mr. Anthony Lanfrank

 

Until recently, there were no laws in place to protect children of family vloggers on social media. 

However, according to Fortune.com, Illinois will require social media influencers under 18 to maintain a log of their earnings to ensure the children are compensated for their work. The law is to go into effect in July 2024. 

Lankfrank agrees with Illinios’s law, stating, “I’m not going to give my 4-year-old a ton of money, but if children are putting in the work, they should receive a portion of that money when they become old enough to handle it.”

This law only addresses the hours of work, but not the invasion of privacy or emotional and psychological repercussions of family vlogging. 

Without being in the spotlight, kids can put to rest the memories of growing up and allow themselves to make mistakes without being criticized by the public.

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