THE DARK SIDE OF TEXAS’ YOUNGEST AND MOST FAMOUS YOUTUBER
WELCOME TO RYANS WORLD
One of the most famous YouTubers is a fellow Texan, and he lives just a short trip away in Cypress, Texas. Ryan Kaji is not your normal YouTuber, his channel racks in millions of dollars every year he has a clothing line and toy line, among other things- oh and not to mention he is only 10 years old!
A PHENOMENON THAT SWEPT THE NATION
To say Ryans' World swept the world would be an understatement. When the channel hit Youtube in 2015 it took off. Children love watching Ryan open and review toys. However, many people criticized the Texas-based Youtuber.
IS IT LEGIT, HOW DID IT START?
Before Ryan was a star, he used to watch Youtube regularly, and when he was 3-years-old he asked his mother, “How come I’m not on YouTube when all the other kids are?” Apparently, that's when it all started. his mom picked up a camera and started recording.
However, there is a pressing issue. Now that Ryan is older and racking in massive amounts of money, is he still recording for his own joy, or is he being forced to continue the daily content?
A DEAL MADE
It is easy to manipulate a young child, maybe offer free toys in return for some camera time. However, a 10-year-old opening some young child toys might not be his first choice.
IS IT FORCED?
"Poor kid doesn't even know he's being exploited"
Kids love toys but as Ryan gets older is he want to record videos opening toys that are out of his age range? It is easy to assume the 10-year-old is not actually working many hours since the heavy leg work is likey being done by his parents and staff. A few hours of 'work' isn't that bad considering how much of a cash cow this channel is, which brings up the lack of transparency of the finances.
WHO'S REALLY GETTING PAID?
Ryan's channel generates massive amounts of money, however, what is he really getting? Youtubers are making videos trying to figure out how much money goes to Ryan vs everyone else involved,and is it exploitation?
In the videos, you will always see happy smiles and fun times however when the camera is off what goes down? Back in 2019, Ryan's World was under fire because of the way videos manipulated their young viewers.
A complaint was filed against the Youtubers channel about how advertising manipulated its young viewers. "Kids younger than the age of 8 and 9 cannot recognize advertising within media." One Youtuber commented the channel is:
"Targeting toddlers like cigarette companies."
THE ROUGH BEGINNINGS
Aside from criticism about the exploitation and lack of educational value, there is another pressing issue. Ryan's mom, Loann, has a dark past. The sweet, spunky mom 'did time' before starting the channel.
HER CRIMINAL PAST
According to the Youtuber Sunnyv2, back in 2002, Loann was caught shoplifting in Houston. She was fined, given community service, and put on probation. Luckily, she was let off pretty easily, however, she took it all for granted. The Ryan's World creator was thrown in jail for refusing to pay back her debts. Instead of paying her fine, going to probation, and doing her 40 hours of community service, she sat around and did nothing.
"People change a lot in 18 years," said one Youtuber. However, it's a little hard to pass off that she was just young and dumb. She was caught stealing something and had a chance to redeem herself. However, instead of owning up to her mistakes she ignored them and took advantage of the slack she was given.
YOU CAN DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSION
Is Ryan being exploited for the financial gain of his parents, or it is ok if he is receiving a piece of the pie? Is it ethical to continue advertising to viewers who are too young to understand the manipulation? Does Ryans mothers criminal history make an impact on the channel, or are you just happy to have some quiet time while your child watches the channel?