8-Year-Old YouTube Millionaire Faces Potential FTC Inquest

Last year’s top moneymaker on YouTube was an adorable little kid who plays with toys on a channel called Ryan ToysReview. Which is probably good because every other YouTube channel is terrible. They all fall into one of three main categories, which are 1) Drama channels like Jake Paul, 2) Right wingers trying to out-racist and/or out muppet-voice each other and 3) Left wingers with all the personality of wet cardboard. Also Binging with Babish, which is pretty good.

Ryan is back in the news and not for a good reason; Fox News (which is the second kind of YouTube channel but on cable) reports that media watchdog group Truth In Advertising lodged a complaint against the channel to the FTC.

The group claims Ryan did not specify or make it clear to the other children watching his videos that he was pushing toys from companies that had sponsored him.

The complaint alleges that 92 percent of the toys Kaji reviews on his channel promote at least one product or program aimed at children under the age of five, however, they aren’t always clearly labeled.

So the video I included in my article about Ryan last year was sponsored, but it also said that clearly at the beginning of the video. Of course, I didn’t watch all of them or even any of them because I’m an adult and also not Michael Jackson.

Unsurprisingly, Ryan’s father Shion said that the channel follows all the FTC’s rules.

“The well-being of our viewers is always the top priority for us and we strictly follow all platforms’ terms of service and all existing laws and regulations, including advertising disclosure requirements,” Shion Kaji said in a statement to Fox Business.

“As the streaming space continues to quickly grow and evolve, we support efforts by lawmakers, industry representatives, and regulators such as the FTC to continuously evaluate and update existing guidelines and lay new ground rules to protect both viewers and creators.”

Most YouTubers play fast and loose with FTC regulations, and it’s probably not ideal that your kids are being incessantly marketed to by another kid, but it could be so much worse.

Just so much worse.

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