If your child spends a lot of time on YouTube, some new rules will make it easier for you to know whether the content they’re watching is truly meant for them. Starting in January, YouTube will require all creators to clearly label whether their content is made for kids.
Creators will have to check a box to label the content when uploading videos. This new rule also applies to all videos previously uploaded on YouTube.
The change is being made as part of a settlement earlier this year with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPA). Earlier this year, the FTC ruled that YouTube mishandled young users’ data, specifically in targeted ads and, in doing so, violated the COPA. Google, YouTube’s parent company, was fined $170 million.
As part of the settlement, the start of the new year also means YouTube will limit the amount of data it collects on content made for kids. Personalized ads will be disabled on any “made for kids” content, as well as features like comments and notifications. The block of data collection will likely result in lower ad revenue for companies that advertise on YouTube.
What Does YouTube Consider Content Made for Kids?
YouTube is following the FTC’s guidance on the COPA when it comes to content made for kids. This includes content directed to children as the primary audience, like videos made for preschoolers. It also includes videos directed to older children, but where children are a secondary audience. This can be a cartoon video that’s primarily for teenagers, but also intended for younger kids.
What Happens if Creators Don’t Comply with the New Rules?
If someone is creating content on YouTube and ignoring the new rules, or not labeling their content the right way, YouTube may jump in and do it from its end. Creators may also face compliance issues with the FTC. YouTube could choose to take action on the creator’s account if they’re not following the rules.
The Verge is reporting that YouTube is not specifically telling channel owners when to label a video “made for kids.” The company is telling creators the decision is up to them, and if they have questions determining whether content falls under that category, they should contact a lawyer.
While YouTube is requiring creators label their content, it will also be using a machine learning system to help find content clearly made for kids.