I think you’re mixing up two completely different things. I’m talking about having children in public photos on possibly monetized instagram accounts. I believe it’s not morally correct (I have a right to believe that) and it can also impact the child’s life later. I wouldn’t want to gamble with that possibilty as a parent. There’s literally no reason imo to post your children’s pics on any public internet forum. That’s how I see it and I’ve already explained why I think so.
You’re talking about having children as a target audience for products. Yes, that takes place all the time and I believe sometimes it can go too far. There’s tons of clickbait and colorful thumbnails on youtube designed to attract children, just like toys and sugary foods do. It’s reasonable to be skeptical about those things too, because children are super impressionable and lack the ability to see consequences for their actions. That’s why parents’ role is to protect and teach their children, not use them as means to gain more followers or views on social media.
It’s a different thing to have a private group for your family where you share photos, or maybe send a photo to your friend, or even share a family photo on your private social media account. It’s the commercial, public exploitation of children that I think cross the line.