Illinois wants influencers to pay for their kids, but doesn’t know how
Illinois is set to pass a state bill that would give the children of social media influencers the right to a percentage of their parents’ earnings, but the law would likely rely on a “system of honor” for their families to create a trust for these children.
Senate Bill 1782, which would be the first of its kind in the United States, seeks to provide financial protections to children whose parents or guardians earn money by posting them online. The bill has already passed the Senate and House and is awaiting the former’s final vote on a House amendment before heading to Gov. JB Pritzker’s office.
But while the bill sends a message about the exploitation of children for social media profits, it’s unclear how the state would hold mom bloggers and family influencers accountable in practice.
Asked how the state would enforce the requirements set out in SB1782, Democratic Rep. Sharon Chung, who sponsored the measure in the House, said Newsweekit would likely be an “honor system” as the legislation rolls out.
“I guess we’ll see how it all works out,” Chung said Tuesday. “We’ll see how it’s implemented, how it works, and then we can adjust as we see fit.”
In the upper house of the Legislative Assembly, Senator David Koehler set the legislation in motion after a teenager raised concerns about the protection of children who are used in paid promotions on social media.
SB1728 grants minors under 16 a share of social media revenue if the child is featured in at least 30% of an influencer’s content in a 30-day period. The parent or guardian, under the legislation, would be required to set aside the money in a trust which the minor could access when they turn 18.
Lawmakers initially planned to have family influencers register with the Illinois Department of Labor (DOL), but state officials have been reluctant to take responsibility for oversight with the measure, citing related concerns. to the Freedom of Information Act and a lack of law enforcement personnel.
“[DOL] somehow didn’t want to touch [the legislation]”Chung said. “That’s the kind of thing I took into consideration when the DOL came to me and said, ‘Hey, we have some concerns about this.'”
State lawmakers had also hoped to include other provisions in the bill, such as allowing children of influencers to request removal of content after turning 18, but SB1728 underwent significant changes before to be passed unanimously by the Senate in March. Chung said lawmakers look forward to being able to pass legislation that includes these clauses in the future.
“I don’t know if this bill is necessarily trying to prohibit people [from posting their children online for revenue]”, did she say. “But maybe it kind of raises those questions. And we want to protect minors in our state, prevent them from being exploited in a way and [say] they are entitled to any funds their guardians and parents earn from their content.”