YouTube, which has been under constant fire for mishandling kids’ content, recently announced their plans to protect kid users. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigated Google, YouTube’s owner, for how they handled young users’ data, particularly in targeted ads. The FTC’s ruling: Google’s actions through YouTube directly violated Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and fined the tech giant.
Lawmakers and parents have been asking for change as young users take up more space on YouTube, both as creators and viewers.
“Responsibility is our number one priority at YouTube, and nothing is more important than protecting kids and their privacy,” YouTube wrote in a recent statement.
What Changes Did YouTube Announce?
YouTube will now recognize anyone watching kids’ content on YouTube as a child, regardless of the user’s registered age. Data collection will be limited to what’s needed for the service to operate.
Kids’ content will no longer have targeted ads, comments or notifications.
YouTube has gotten in some trouble for having inappropriate content hidden in kids’ content, so what will help define “kids’ content”?
Channels will be required to mark whether or not their content qualifies as kids’ content. Tech will also be used to find videos that target kid users, mainly focusing on kids’ characters, toys and games.
YouTube has always promoted that its website is not suited for users below 13 and this has remained the same despite the announced changes. The company still encourages parents to use YouTube Kids for their young ones for an even safer, family-friendly experience. YouTube also plans to cut back the number of channels featured on the app to ensure quality kids’ content.
Will The Changes Be Effective?
YouTube announced a four-month deadline for the streaming service’s affected creators so they can adjust their business strategies under the new guidelines.
Parents can expect to see changes in the coming month as both the company and users take on the changes.
While YouTube has both humans and tech defining what qualifies as kids’ content, the possibility for non-suitable content is still fairly high.
After sexual predators were exposed in the comments of kids’ content, YouTube announced comment bans on kids’ content. Some content, however, was still open for comments when it didn’t get flagged as kid-specific.
YouTube stressed this announcement was just the beginning of their efforts to better young users’ experience, “Today’s changes will allow us to better protect kids and families on YouTube, and this is just the beginning. We’ll continue working with lawmakers around the world in this area.”