Social Media Influencers
Information about social media influencers and the increasingly significant role that they play in shaping the opinions, interests and behaviours of children and young people.
What is an Influencer?
An influencer is somebody prominent on a social media platform such as YouTube and Instagram, who have a high number of followers. Influencers share their opinions/ideas and may be paid to advertise/promote products through their account. Whist there are some great influencers, there are some that choose to share their own opinions, which could be misogynistic or racist for example. These opinions can be expressed or interpreted as fact. It is important to talk to your child about the spread of misinformation online and how we should fact check and critically analyse what we see and hear online.
What we see on social media platforms is influenced by algorithms, which predict what type of content we are most likely to interact with. Whilst there are benefits of algorithms, it can mean that once we start looking at certain content, our social media feed can become more aligned with that opinion, so we don’t see a balanced picture.
You can find out more here: https://www.childnet.com/blog/algorithms/
The NSPCC have created an article detailing what you need to know about online influencers. You can read it here: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/onlinesafety-blog/2023-05-16-the-influence-of-influencers/