Reality star Khloe Kardashian gave birth to her daughter with Tristan Thompson amidst a cheating scandal, and while everything about their relationship is still uncertain, the only truth we know is that their baby named True Thompson already has an Instagram account, and she is barely a few days old.
Her number of her followers as of now is over 184k and counting with zero following and zero posts.
The hype of celebrities having their children's Instagram account is not uncommon. True Thompson is the second Kardashian-Jenner baby to have a social media presence, after Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna’s 1-year-old daughter Dream, who has more than 900,000 Instagram followers.
True also joins a list of celebrity babies who have secured thousands of Instagram followers — Serena Williams and Alex Ohanian’s 7-month-old daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr, who has about 313K followers on her verified account; Boomer Phelps, the 1-year-old son of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, has 784k; Coco Austin and Ice-T’s 2-year-old daughter, Chanel Nicole, has more than 455k; and ex-Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky’s 1-year-old daughter, Molly, has more than 33,000.
Many of us are guilty of following some of these accounts and double tapping adorable videos of their first words and first walks. It's a guilty pleasure to follow their fabulous life and get a sneak peek into their world.
What celebrities do obviously seeps into the public sphere, and so has this trend, with 40 percent of the ordinary parents on social media within the age group of 18 and 34 opening Instagram accounts of their child within a year of their birth, according to a 2014 survey conducted by Gerber.
The trend is on and we all know a young new parent who isn't hesitant to open a full fledged dedicated account.
But when the account is created, it violates an integral rule of creating data of children below 13 years of age. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule was established in 1998 to prevent companies from collecting data on children below the age of 13 without parental consent.
However, by creating their children’s digital footprint, celebrities like Khloé Kardashian and many others are opting out of that protection.
It is certain that these celebrities kids are going to have a huge fan following and the foundation is laid when they aren't even old enough to understand the meaning of social media. The parents are instantly assuming the child is fit for fame when in fact, it may not be so. The rule of consent is not applied and the child is exposed to unwanted exposure that may pose as a threat to their wel-being.
Celebrities including Khloe Kardashian have fallen prey to crazy fans' obsessions and attacks and the Kardashian-Jen clan in its entirety is the world's most followed family. They have tight security wherever they go so why would they want to risk their protection by having their babies exposed to social media?
However, it is not known if True Thompson's account is an authentic one opened by her parents. The only Kardashian to follow the account is Kris Jenner. Even if the verification isn't there, the followers are real and they want to have a magnified look into the baby's life.
Another absolutely ridiculous reason why True's Instagram is growing by the seconds is because she was born amidst the cheating scandal of her parents. She is going to receive backlash and cruel comments from her followers who will bestow it as showers of love. She will understand all of it when she reaches the age when she starts reading and is personally involved in social media in a few years time.
Imagine the psychological impact it will have on her at that young age. This applies to all the babies on Instagram who will get back to their accounts as a grown up, take charge and be astounded by the hate, because internet is an ugly place and we know that. One hate comment will shrink all the positive ones.
If you have observed celebrities including Instagram queens, there is a specific pattern they follow. They will keep the viewers engaged with their pregnancy journey until their baby is born and then all of a sudden...BOOM!
A baby's Instagram account is created. Parents' upload pictures on behalf of the child and write it in first person.
Why do they do this? Risking the safety and protection of their baby? No matter how adorable the chid is, social media besides exposure serves as a money making tool.
A founder of Cyber Safety Consulting, Liz Repking, tells Yahoo Lifestyle; “The underlying objective of social media used to be a communication tool. However, now people monetize their personalities online, and their children have to accept that.”
The huge following of Instagram babies turn them into money-making brands and it is all a strategy.
Tanzanian music star Diamond Platnumz and wife Zari Hassan opened an account for their baby Princess Tiffah, even before she was born and after her birth she had an endorsement in waiting.
Today, Latiffah is the most followed East African baby with 1.7 million followers and over 1000 posts most of which are uploaded by her mother. At birth, one of Tanzania’s baby shop had offered the celebrity parents a one-year contract that would see baby Tiffah showcasing and using their products. As time goes, we expect more of such endorsements as parents strive to turn their babies into brands and make money.
Many celebrities have been slammed for opening their child's Instagram account but the parents have always defended saying it serves as a modern-day album and since the exposure is inevitable as the baby will feature on parents' account, it is wise to have a dedicated baby account.
A tech expert and a mother to a seven-year-old son, Amber MacArthur says in an interview on parent-controlled social media accounts: "Every person has a right to decide how they’re presented online. Eventually, your child will reach the age when they are ready to make their own decisions about online identity and it’s possible that the photos their parents have posted will be in conflict with that.”
MacArthur says that the most valuable gift a parent can give their kid is not a reserved Twitter handle or a decade of precious #memories, but a blank slate on which to create their own online identity. In short, don't create any social media account for them.
But for those kids whose accounts have been created, they will be dwelling in a virtual bubble.
And consider the worst that can happen. The babies grows up and the fans decide to suddenly unfollow them.
What happens if the child is a subject to pedophiles? It is a scary thought, but when you expose the child to such dangers, precautions are necessary.
If you are one of the conflicted millennial parents and considering launching your baby's Instagram account, it is advisable to keep certain things in mind. As it is Instagram requires users to be at least 13 years old so by ignoring the protocol, celebrity parents convey the message that rules don't apply to them.
But it does and you as a parent go behind the back and open a new set of email ID for your baby's Social Media presence. Well, if you do, it may turn your child into a public figure and a brand but you are normalizing stalking and giving out the message that it is okay for people to track their lives.
They are babies and they need a childhood, like the one you had. A normal one.