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You can’t move for influencers these days. It’s not just young, good looking things selling a lifestyle. Influencers can be anyone who has a large following on social media and uses that audience to promote products.
From clothes and make up to health routines and landlords. Yes, landlords, influencers attract huge numbers of views and are in every interest sector that exists in the wild west that is social media.
To raise awareness for Safer Internet Day on 7 February 2023, our voters explored many aspects of how influencers make money. This was alongside considering some of the intended and unintended consequences on the young people who consume their content.
But should they be held responsible for what they promote? There were some excellent discussions around this and ultimately decided.
"Influencers are not responsible for our safety because it isn't their job to keep us safe. We should be able to make safe decisions ourselves or with the help of parents and carers.”
"Influencers can try to get people to buy things, or do things, but people have their own minds and make their own decisions so we can't blame the influencers.”
“We shouldn't blame them completely for online harm as they [are] just following trends however we shouldn't forget the harm they are causing to young followers and should be making them aware of their influential power they have especially on young children and teens."
For Safer Internet Day, two of our Impact Partners responded to what young people said about influencers and online harms.
Lauren Seager-Smith, Chief Executive of Kidscape and Andrew Hassett, Director of Communications and Advocacy at End Violence Against Children.
Kidscape are a charity that helps to provide support and guidance to help young people challenge bullying.
End Violence Against Children is a global partnership that is aimed solely at Sustainable Development Goal 16:2 End all forms of violence against children.
Click below to see what they had to say.