Social media is an indispensable part of our lives and there is no debating this. Our thumb-breaking scrolling has opened new avenues of stardom for creators, motivating more and more people to join the party. In the age of social media, parents are increasingly turning to platforms like Instagram to showcase their children, often with the hope of fame or financial gain. The parent run Instagram account of children have grown tremendously in the last few years.

The harm of parent run instagram accounts of children

However, a recent investigation by The New York Times sheds light on the disturbing consequences of this practice. What begins as an innocent “update” too often descends into a dark underworld, exposing children to exploitation and harm.

Parent-Run Influencer Accounts

Under the guise of parental guidance, Instagram accounts featuring children, particularly young girls, are rapidly increasing in number. These accounts, managed by mothers seeking social media stardom for their offspring, paint a picture of idyllic childhoods and budding careers. Yet, beneath the surface lies a troubling reality.

Unregulated Access to Children

Instagram’s policies prohibit children under the age of 13 from having an Instagram account, but this hasn’t deterred parents from creating profiles for their underage children, especially daughters. The consequence? 

Parent run Instagram accounts give access of children to paedophiles

An unregulated space where children become unwitting targets for predators. The lure of fame and attention draws in followers, among whom are adult men openly admitting to being paedophiles.

What begins as a well-intentioned effort to kickstart a child’s career in fashion modelling, quickly spirals into a nightmare. Sometimes the parents are blinded by the glamour of likes and followers, commodifying their children’s images and subjecting them to potential harm. The stealing of photos, accessibility to direct messaging, and sometimes live streams opens the door to exploitation, turning childhood innocence into a prying, commodified world.

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Regret and Reflection

For some parents, realising their role in this dark ecosystem comes too late. The New York Times investigation reveals accounts with thousands of followers, predominantly male, exposing children to untold risks. Regret weighs heavily on those who once saw Instagram as a gateway to success for their children, now acknowledging the danger they’ve unwittingly exposed their children to.

In many cases, this social media popularity can obstruct the day-to-day functioning of the child, which in turn can affect their life as a whole. The familiarity of the children of Instagram with their “followers” can be translated into real life, where a potential culprit may harm the child. Once the parent realises this, it may end up being too late.

Parent run Instagram accounts can end up the child in the dark side of internet


The rise of parent-run influencer accounts on Instagram underscores a troubling reality: childhood innocence is being compromised in pursuit of likes and followers. It’s imperative that we recognise the inherent risks and take action to protect vulnerable children from exploitation. Instagram must enforce stricter policies to prevent underage profiles and combat the proliferation of predatory behaviour. As parents and as a society, we must prioritise the well-being of our children over the fleeting promises of social media fame