Children and Privacy in Microcelebrity Apology Videos

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In recent years, family YouTube channels have gained popularity, and have raised a number of concerns about children, privacy, and exploitation in the context of sharenting and microcelebrity. Sometimes, viewers’ concern about children’s well-being leads to backlash against microcelebrity parents. In response, these parents often release apology videos on YouTube in order to repair their image and maintain good standing with their audience. My thesis examined such apology videos to investigate how microcelebrity parents employ children’s privacy in order to repair their image and further their brand according to the ethos of calibrated amateurism. I performed a textual and visual analysis on four YouTube apology videos from two family channels, Myka Stauffer and DaddyOFive, that found themselves at odds with their viewers when their sharenting practices resulted in significant controversy. I employed both Benoit’s (2014c) theory of image repair and Abidin’s (2017) notion of calibrated amateurism as my theoretical perspectives to identify some key conventions of apology videos. In accounting for the comments on these videos, I further analyzed how apology videos are received when microcelebrity parents deploy notions of their children’s privacy as part of this image repair. I found that the conventions of these family apology videos manifested calibrated amateurism while the microcelebrity parents used the language of privacy to protect their brand image in a way that contradicted some of their previous sharenting practices.
youtube, privacy, children, microcelebrity, authenticity, apologies
Kardal, J. (2022). Children and privacy in microcelebrity apology videos (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from