Madonna says giving her children mobile phones ended their relationship

The singer says her childrens lives became dominated by the technology Its a daily bane of modern parenting that even Madonna appears to have got hung up on: how to keep a childs attention once you give them a mobile phone. Madonna has complained of losing a link to her children after giving them mobile phones at a relatively young age, to the extent that she has prevented her 13-year-old son from having one. I made a mistake when I gave my older children phones when they were 13, said the mother of six, who has previously talked about feeling like Billy-no-mates while living in Lisbon in Portugal, where she said she spent most of her time doing the school …

‘It’s not play if you’re making money’: how Instagram and YouTube disrupted child labor laws

Kidfluencers are earning millions on social media, but who owns that money? They open boxes, play with toys, pull pranks and make slime. They sing, they dance, and they remember their lines: Subscribe to my channel! Children are among the biggest stars of YouTube and Instagram, earning millions through influencer deals with blue-chip brands or YouTubes partner program, which gives creators a cut of ad revenues. Where network television gave us Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, social media produced identical twins Alexis and Ava McClure. Macaulay Culkins million-dollar mug has given way to the toothy grin of Ryan, a seven-year-old whose toy reviews made him the highest-paid YouTube star of 2018. The child-of-actors niche once occupied by the likes of Drew …

Michael Jacksons life showed us the journey from abused to abuser | Hadley Freeman

The maltreatment he suffered was devastating but not sexual. Did that help fans believe in his harmless, lost boy persona?, says Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman Jimmy Savile. Harvey Weinstein. R Kelly. Kevin Spacey. We are not exactly short these days of celebrities accused of exploiting their fame to mask predatory behaviour. Yet the Michael Jackson case is different. And thats not just because he is, still, so passionately defended by some including, most recently, Barbra Streisand and whose father notoriously physically abused him, grew up to become himself the most notorious abuser in modern music. Joe Jackson, who finally died last year, was part of a not exactly proud tradition of nightmarish fathers of celebrity families. His one competitor to …

‘When Im 16, my baby brother will take over’: the rise of the kidfluencer

Tekkerz kid, 10, gets stopped in the street by fans; The McClure twins, five, have 1.7 million Instagram followers. Whats life like as a tiny influencer? Ryan is seven years old and makes a reported $22m (16.8m) a year. His YouTube channel, Tiana, a bubbly 11-year-old toy reviewer from Nottingham (4.4 million subscribers) who has queues of children snaking through shopping centres for meet-and-greets during school holidays. There are hundreds getting more than 100,000 clicks a time, or with six-figure follower counts, such as Super Awesome. But every generation has that same obsessional, cult-like draw towards what is popular, just like the one that wanted to marry Backstreet Boys. Launching children on to platforms that were built for adults is …

Im shocked by those who still wont accept Michael Jackson as abuser | Dan Reed

The director of Leaving Neverland on the polarised reaction to his landmark film Leaving Neverland has been seen by his many four-hour study of the psychology of child sexual abuse, told through two ordinary families who were groomed for 20 years by a paedophile masquerading as a trusted friend. Its a mask that is often used by predators, whether a priest, a teacher, an uncle. This time the man behind the mask just happened to be Michael Jackson. I had only a foggy idea about all this before starting work on the film. The complex, counter-intuitive and repugnant truths of child sexual abuse that Wade Robson, James Safechuck and their families have courageously unravelled on camera came as a shock …

Parents: don’t panic about Momo worry about YouTube Kids instead | Keza MacDonald

One is a viral hoax. The other is rife with distressing and disturbing content, says Keza MacDonald, the Guardians video games editor I first heard about Momo in my local parents WhatsApp group. Someone had screenshotted a Facebook post about a creepy puppet that supposedly appeared in unsuspecting childrens phone messages and spliced into YouTube videos, dispensing advice on self-harm and violent acts. I reacted with suspicion: this would hardly be the first time that something on Facebook was indeed a hoax, a viral shock-story driven by a frightening image and well-intentioned worry about childrens safety online. There have been videos on YouTube Kids with suicide advice spliced into otherwise innocuous cartoons as a malicious joke they just dont involve …

Momo hoax: schools, police and media told to stop promoting viral challenge

Childrens charities say warnings about online suicide challenge have done more harm than good Britains media, schools and police forces were told on Thursday to stop promoting an online hoax about the so-called Momo challenge, amid fears that unjustified warnings about the supposed phenomenon risked doing more harm than good. The Momo challenge centres on false claims that a mysterious character is using WhatsApp messages to encourage children to kill themselves. After it moved from the fringes of the internet to the mass media, interventions from authority figures were blamed for creating a full-blown moral panic and genuine fear among children. Questions were raised in parliament on Thursday about what the government planned to do about the hoax, while hundreds …