Media Smart to help children spot social media influencer ads

An education programme has released new videos to help children spot commercial influence in their social media feeds

Media Smart has launched a new film aimed at helping children in key stage three spot advertisements on social media.

The video, designed for children aged 11 to 14, wants to help the next generation become more aware of the commercial links between brands and influencers.

Rachel Barber-Mack, director of Media Smart said: “Our objective is to help children fill in these gaps to ensure they build their digital and media literacy and ultimately their emotional resilience.”

The Influencer Marketing Education resource was developed by EdComs and includes short films that discuss market regulations, tips on identifying paid-for content and ways for young people to evaluate what they see.

The videos will also explore airbrushing and filtering which have been critiqued by mental health campaigners who say they can increase anxiety in young people.

Teacher guidance and assemblies will be used to support these new digital resources.

Barber-Mack said: “When putting together these resources, it was clear that the best way to educate them was through youth influencers themselves and I am grateful for their contribution.”

Hannah Witton, a YouTuber, author and contributor to the videos said: “Social influencers are an increasing presence in the young people’s lives and have a positive role to play in advising and sharing their experiences with their followers.

“This is even more critical when it comes to crucial issues like body image and promoting body positivity. It may not always be obvious if influencers have used airbrushing or filters on the images they post of themselves. Young people need to be educated about this and understand what they see isn’t always real.”

The videos are available at https://vimeopro.com/edcoms/media-smart-promo