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The Young and the Influential

The Young and the Influential

Labor Law Reform to Protect Kid-influencers


#tiktokKids #instaKids…young people are the fastest growing and most influential market of users on social media, but who really profits? Does their content creation qualify as labor? In a world where young people are the dominant users of social media, but still don’t have voting rights or positions of power to legislate reform, where do their rights to compensation for their labor and privacy stand? Illinois is now the first-in-the-nation to set up protections for kid-influencers, child vloggers and underage social media stars. Leah Plunkett, Meyer Research Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School and Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, joins Senator Dave Koehler of Illinois, Washington State Representative Kristine Reeves, Chris McCarty, Student Founder and Executive Director of Quit Clicking Kids and Shreya Nallamothu, Student & Contributor to the Illinois legislation, to gain deeper perspective on how laws are changing for young influencers and the impact this will have on society and social media.

About the Moderators:

​Leah PlunkettLeah Plunkett
Meyer Research Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University

Leah Plunkett is the inaugural Executive Director of Harvard Law School Online and Associate Dean of Learning Experience and Innovation (LXI) at Harvard Law School, where she is proud to lead the Office of LXI. She is also the Meyer Research Lecturer on Law at HLS and a faculty associate with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Ms. Plunkett is a national leader in online legal education, having served as a chief architect of the hybrid JD program in intellectual property, information, and technology law at University of New Hampshire School of Law (the first specialized hybrid JD program in the country). Her scholarship focuses on digital privacy and the digital lives of kids, families, and communities. Ms. Plunkett received her A.B., summa cum laude, in American History and Literature from Harvard College, where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, and her J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School.

​Jenn LouieJenn Louie
Founder of the Moral Innovation Lab, Integrity Institute Fellow, Research Assistant at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University

Jenn Louie is an innovator, entrepreneur and recent graduate of Harvard Divinity School. She is the founder of the Moral Innovation Lab and the Spiritual Care Project based on her research on moral formation, moral conflicts, equity building, reparations, spiritual health, and religious literacy. Prior to HDS, she was a former Head of Facebook Pages, Groups, and Messenger Integrity and Trust & Safety Operations at Meta. She previously served as the first Head of Trust & Safety at Meetup and established her career in tech product policy and Trust and Safety at Google. Jenn has spoken on online risk and tech policy at SXSW, IDEO, law schools, Techweek NYC, and the Microsoft Social Computing Symposium. Jenn is currently a research assistant at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and a Fellow with the Integrity Institute. She is interested in how social inequities (including the rights of children) and social hierarchies are recreated through unexamined moral inheritances that get replicated in the technologies we build, especially in AI.

About the Panelists:

​Kristine ReevesRepresentative Kristine Reeves

Rep. Kristine Reeves (D-Federal Way) is a working mom, former foster youth, and small business owner who advocates for working families, educators, veterans, and building an economy that works best for all of us. Outside of the Legislature, Reeves is a community & economic development, equity & inclusion, and organizational development consultant.

​Dave KoehlerIllinois State Senator Dave Koehler

State Senator Dave Koehler was elected to the Illinois Senate in 2006 as the state senator for the Peoria area in Central Illinois. He was promoted to Majority Caucus Whip in 2018 and Assistant Majority Leader in 2019. From 1982 to 1988, Koehler served on the Peoria County Board, and from 1989 to 1997, served on the Peoria City Council as Mayor Pro Tem. He has also served on many boards and commissions with subjects ranging from labor-management relations to health care. Koehler serves on the Illinois Senate Agriculture, Appropriations-Education, Energy and Public Utilities, Higher Education and Labor Committees.

​Chris McCartyChris McCarty
Student Founder and Executive Director of Quit Clicking Kids

Chris McCarty is the student founder and executive director of Quit Clicking Kids. In 2020, they began researching the behind-the-scenes workings of family influencer accounts and organizing informational webinars about the perils of oversharing online. In 2021, they started cold calling and cold emailing Washington State legislators to craft legislation to protect children online. This legislation (originally HB 2032 and later HB 1627) had two key components: the first component was a right to privacy and the second component was an avenue to financial compensation. While the Washington bill did not pass, it served as a framework for other states. Most recently, HB 1627 in Washington State was the basis for SB 1782 in Illinois, which was signed into law in August of 2023! Chris is now working to bring similar protective legislation to other states and continues to raise awareness through their social media and their website.

Shreya NallamothuShreya Nallamothu
Student & Contributor to Illinois Legislation on Child Influencers

Shreya Nallamothu is a junior at University High School in Illinois. She's interested in law, civic engagement, and social justice. This past year, she worked with Illinois State Senator David Koehler to introduce and pass the nation's first ever law protecting child influencers. She also started her community's first free mock trial program for middle schoolers, volunteers at a local legal nonprofit, and serves on her town's youth council. In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing her viola, and competing on speech team. Shreya is excited to offer a new perspective on online safety and public policy!

Past Event
Thursday, November 9, 2023
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Berkman Klein Center
1557 Massachusetts Ave 4th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138 US

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