Recently, traditional media such as TV and radio have become less popular, maximizing the media platform market, which is easier to access with PCs and mobile devices. As such, new jobs are emerging for those who earn income by producing video contents through YouTube. The advantage of a media platform is that the direction of the videos is endless due to the lack of limitations in expression. However, the various problems that follow should also not be taken lightly.
YouTube contents with minors are no longer rare nowadays. Kid’s YouTube channel, which uses “representative faces” from children under the age of seven to teenagers, is already overflowing. Then, I would like to say whether these video contents, which uses young children to seek financial benefits, is ethically correct.
Considering the Korean Labor Act, workers under the age of 15 cannot work without a job permit. Since contents of videos through YouTube are a new platform that is emerging, there are insufficient regulations on existing media channels. Clearly, people are now regularly creating video contents, hiring people for contents, and creating money through these platforms. In the case of such contents, however, child labor laws are not properly applied even if children are involved.
Since provocative contents are gaining popularity due to the nature of video contents, it often produces contents that is not positive to a child’s emotions even though it is a Kid’s YouTube Channel. For example, the Kid’s YouTube channel, Boram Tube has more than 30 million subscribers and this channel is managed by 6-year-old girl, Lee Bo-ram. Recently, Boram Tube caused controversy over Bo-ram’s acting such as stealing her parent’s money. The video is now deleted.
Similarly, “Sua-Suji TV,” which has 680 thousand subscribers, has stirred dispute over its abuse of six-year-old children by conducting a broadcast on which they were forced to eat a whole 10-kilogram octopus without cutting it. In addition to this, YouTube has made the management regulations for underage contents more specific as the arguments are everywhere. However, there are persistent questions about its practical effects. Of course, there are certainly positive effects as the Kid’s YouTube channel gives children a chance to realize their dreams and it can make children to communicate with peers in a more creative way.
However, children are directly involved in financial returns through YouTube. Furthermore, child protection should come first since many children are the main audience of Kid’s YouTube Channel. For this reason, stronger regulation through continuous discourse should become a reality.
Seo Won-yeong firstname.lastname@example.org
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