A popular mom-centric creator on TikTok has apparently made the decision to stop posting as many clips of her children online. TikToker Maia Knight (@maiaknight), a single mother of twins whose content regularly featured her children, has started covering her face in publicly shared clips of them and making videos about their lives — rather than their twins.
However, some of her followers were not happy with this decision and expressed how much they longed to see the mother’s children again. A fan’s statement upset another TikTok user named Sarah (@mom.uncharted), who regularly speaks out about influencer safety around children.
Sarah said the reaction from Knights fans was “strange” and used the situation to highlight how complete strangers can begin to feel a sense of entitlement and ownership of other people’s children.
@mom.uncharted There are so many reasons to uphold your child’s right to privacy, consent and safety online – strangers forming parasocial relationships with your children should be a warning sign to parents that you are sharing too much #socialmedia # influencers #parents #sharing #parasocial relationships #parenting #parentsoftiktok #privacy #privacymatters #exploitation #exploitationawareness #vloggers #keepkidssafe #protectthechildren ♬ Original sound – mom.uncharted
Sarah says on her now viral TikTok: “This is weird. It’s not funny, it’s not cute, but it expresses how deep and uncomfortable these parasocial relationships are, especially the ones adults develop with people’s children.”
At this point in the video, a text overlay appears on Sarah’s clip, providing further context on the situation: “A popular influencer appears to be sharing her children less and this is her Stan’s reaction.”
The TikToker then began playing alleged audio files of said “Stans” upset at not being able to see Maia’s children’s faces anymore.
“I just miss my babies,” one woman is heard saying. “And I know we can get a peek at the boyfriend now, which is great, it’s alright, I’m so happy for them. Um, but where are my babies? And can we start seeing her again? No? Can we get an explanation for this? No, I’m so invested in her. I feel like we went through their hatred of milk and solid supplements and diaper rashes and sleeping habits and ransacked the house and pet the dogs and slept in the car [at] McDonald’s… we’re invested now, can we see them again? Maybe for Christmas?”
The Daily Dot has emailed both Sarah and Knight for further comment.
Some viewers of Sarah’s post said that ultimately, if they were Knight, such reactions would help reinforce her decision not to post clips of her children on social media.
Others were shaken by the response Sarah highlighted, like one user who commented, “You couldn’t even pay me a million dollars to even portray what she said as a dramatic monologue.”
Some were happy to learn that Knight made the decision to pay attention to what she said about her children. “I’m SO glad Maia made the conscious decision to keep her children’s faces off social media. but unfortunately it seems like it’s too late :/” wrote one user.
Some users reiterated the sentiment that it might be “too late” to curb people’s obsession with Knight’s children. “I’m glad she’s hiding them now, but people warned her for a year that her kids were being posted on horrible sites and she made fun of it. :-/,” shared another.
Knight is just one of several creative parents who have made a conscious decision to reduce their children’s digital footprint. As NBC reported in November, several parents are concerned about their children’s safety and privacy online, issues exacerbated by virality and widespread following.
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*Initial publication: December 26, 2022 at 8:19 am CST
Jack Alban is a freelance journalist for the Daily Dot, covering trending human interest/social media stories and real people’s reactions to them. He always tries to incorporate evidence-based studies, current events, and relevant facts to those stories to create your not-so-average viral post.
https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/mom-tiktoker-maia-knight/ Mama TikToker has started covering up children’s faces in videos