Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at VCU chapter.

Many of us grew up watching different kinds of families on social media or television. Whether it be The Ace Family or Modern Family, it’s interesting to see different family dynamics. TikTok has been the most recent source of family channels, which allows families to share their lifestyle and parenting in short clips. Family channels on social media have been particularly controversial due to more people recognizing its potential negative impact on the children. For example, the recent breakup of Catherine Paiz and Austin McBroom has received lots of media attention as The Ace Family was one of the most popular family channels since 2016. The children of The Ace Family have been filmed for the majority of their lives, with their parents sharing some of their most personal moments with the whole world. Now, their family’s divorce is also being shared with the world. 

Growing up in the spotlight where all of your life is recorded and posted for  millions to see could have a lasting impact, especially when taken out of hand. There are some family channels that are able to find ways to share valuable moments with the world without jeopardizing their children’s family. Some family channels do serve a meaningful purpose within social media. For example, families that share their lifestyle with children or parents with disabilities or multi-racial families. However, there is an undeniable dark side within family channels who take the fame too far, often at the cost of their children’s emotional well-being.

The Franke family YouTube channel, 8 Passengers, is one of the most recent examples of the dark side of family channels. The mother and main owner of the YouTube channel, Ruby Franke, was recently arrested for aggravated child abuse. While their family vlogs appeared to show their children and family as a happy unit, the children were actually facing physical and emotional abuse at the hands of their parents. 

Children do not have the ability to consent to being filmed and posted to the world, as they may not understand the consequences of having their lives online. It is up to the parents to use their judgment on what they choose to share with the world. With that being said, it is also important that viewers recognize how easily children can be exploited through family channels. Pay attention to red flags and ask what this family vlog channel is providing to the public. Are they simply looking for clicks and views by sharing their child’s private moments? Or are they educating us on healthy family behavior or unique family dynamics? Here’s a reminder that we should never fully trust what is shared on social media and trust our judgment always. 

Hi, my name is Namitha and I am a sophomore at VCU majoring in Biology. I believe writing has the power to move people and make the world a better place. I love watching shows, specifically murder mysteries. In my free time, you'll find me at the mall, gym, or napping on my couch.