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Young Influencers Now Protected in Illinois, The Firetruck Game, and Is That an AI or My Favorite Influencer?

Words by
Jackie Baucom

APR 18, 2024

Young Influencers Now Protected in Illinois, The Firetruck Game, and Is That an AI or My Favorite Influencer?

Welcome to our weekly post aimed at keeping parents in the loop on today’s key tech trends. Here are your top stories.

Is This the Future of Influencer Communication?

Instagram is testing “Creator A.I.,” an AI program that mimics an influencer’s voice and automates responses in comments and direct messages to fans.

Meta hopes the AI will alleviate the workload for influencers, while strengthening their connections with fans. 

Some influencers are cautious, preferring authentic interactions.

The New York Times | Ready for a Chatbot Version of Your Favorite Instagram Influencers?

Sound the Alarm on The Firetruck Game

A mom’s TikTok warning goes viral about the “Firetruck Game,” a trend where boys are touching girls without consent by pretending their hand is a firetruck. 

The girl is instructed to say “green light,” to allow the firetruck to keep exploring her body, or “red light,” when it’s time to stop.

However, there’s a caveat — firetrucks don’t stop at red lights.

Motherly | Mom warns fellow parents about harmful ‘firetruck’ game kids are playing

Illinois Law Gives Young Influencers Their Due

Illinois became the first state in the nation to enact legislation protecting the rights of child influencers. 

Sharenting (sharing + parenting), a term that refers to the practice of parents sharing information, photos, or videos of their children online, has raised concerns about children’s privacy, digital footprint, and potential exploitation.

Under the new law, which will take effect on July 1, 2024, a percentage of any earnings from videos featuring minors under 16, must be placed in a trust fund and accessible to the child once they reach adulthood.

NBC News | Illinois passed a law to protect child influencers. Advocates are cautiously optimistic more states will follow.

Meta’s Deepfake Porn Response Under Review

Meta’s Oversight Board is investigating Facebook and Instagram for their handling of deepfake porn.

The board aims to assess Meta’s policies and enforcement practices regarding AI-generated explicit content. 

The rise of deepfake porn has fueled calls for stricter legislation against non-consensual deepfake pornography.

The Hill | Meta action on explicit deepfakes under review by Oversight Board

APA Demands Social Media Safety

The American Psychological Association (APA) published a new report highlighting the dangers of social media on youth mental health.

In a statement, the APA urged social media companies to prioritize youth safety, particularly the need for comprehensive solutions beyond age limits and parental controls. 

American Psychological Association | APA report calls on social media companies to take responsibility to protect youth

Roku’s Ad Blitz

A journalist discovered a patent filed by Roku that details plans for an “HDMI customized ad insertion” feature. 

While not yet confirmed for implementation, this feature would enable Roku TVs to monitor video signals via the HDMI port, allowing for around-the-clock surveillance, not only while using Roku.

This technology would also insert tailored ads when content is paused.

The Atlantic | Welcome to the Golden Age of User Hostility

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