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TikTok user “Wren and Jacquelyn” accused of exploitation

The ethical dilemma for parents sharing videos of their children online
Cami Trauschke

Many parents enjoy sharing cute videos and pictures of their children online. It is typical to want to show off their first adorable moments ranging from their first steps, first words, and life achievements. However, is there a limit on how much should be shared?

TikTok user, “Wren & Jacquelyn,” has become a popular mother-daughter account where Jacquelyn Paul shares videos of her four-year-old daughter, Wren Eleanor. These videos include her daughter engaging in regular kid activities. However, certain aspects of these videos have caused viewers to worry.

At first glance, her account can seem innocent and fun. Yet, these “regular kid activities,” may be ill-intended. 

Paul has recorded Eleanor doing things such as eating a hot dog, drinking out of straws, and sitting on a whoopee cushion in a dress, as stated by Dexerto.

These activities seem harmless, but predators can take them the wrong way online. These types of videos have caused viewers to feel that Paul is purposely exploiting her daughter. 

“I definitely believe Eleanor’s mother is exploiting her on purpose, especially the posts of her daughter in bathing suits that get more inappropriate and disturbing comments. Paul is definitely to blame since she keeps posting that stuff.” says Carolyn Roberti, 11.

When looking at the top searches for the “Wren & Jacquelyn ” account, there are results such as “Wren Eleanor hotdog” or “Wren Eleanor pickle”, proven by Dexerto. Thousands of users made videos sending backlash to the mother, claiming she is targeting these videos for creeps to get more views so she gets more money and followers.

TikTok users have tracked down older men commenting things such as “she is so beautiful” or “cute” on her videos, according to Medium. These are the mildest examples of the problematic comments. This eventually caused Paul to turn off the comments, but it did not solve the overarching issue.

There’s no way she doesn’t see these comments. Having not addressed the amount of views and saves she gets when her daughter is doing things that can be taken the wrong way is for sure exploitation.”

— Lexana Gonzalez, 12

In 2022, viewers were making claims that Paul’s daughter was being used for child sexual abuse material and was on certain websites used to watch child pornography.

Paul made a video responding to this criticism explaining that she had spoken with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and they had declared there was no evidence to prove that her daughter was on these sites. 

In the same video, Paul noted that her account is a “digital scrapbook” for her daughter. She says that she sets the proceeds from this account aside for her daughter’s future.

This response video from Paul caused even more outrage. Comments were filled with individuals expressing that no matter what, this innocent girl is still being posted online, with little say, on an account with 17 million followers. Nobody can control what happens when people view or save those videos on their phones.   

Another topic of conversation is that the “Wren & Jacquelyn  ” TikTok and Instagram accounts are public, whilst Paul’s accounts are private.

Social media users argue the hypocrisy of publicly displaying her daughter’s life while she privatizes her own. Many say that children should not have access to any social media or be shown online whatsoever until they can have a say. 

As per TikTok’s community guidelines, you must be 13 years or older to have an account, but there are no specific rules on the age of who can be posted. Although, the guidelines state, “sexual exploitation of minors includes any abuse of a position of power or trust for sexual purposes, including profiting financially, socially, sexually, or politically from the exploitation of a minor.”

The videos that Paul posts of her daughter can arguably be in the realm of breaking TikTok’s community guidelines. Without repercussions, this can be dangerous for her daughter’s safety and future. Despite this, Paul shows no signs of stopping. 

TikTok users sympathize with the little girl and are trying to get the “Wren & Jacquelyn” account deleted. The exploitation of Wren Eleanor must stop to ensure the child’s safety.

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