YouTube officially announced its plan on to have creators label any of their videos that might appeal to children. When creators mark a video as directed at kids starting in January 2020, data collection will be blocked for all viewers, resulting in lower ad revenue, and those videos will lose some of the most popular features of the platform, including comments and end screens. It’s just one of the major chnages in how Youtube works, and has left some creators clueless as to whether they are subject to the new rules.
Google announced that this new system was the result of a $170 million historic YouTube settlement reached in September with the Federal Trade Commission for allegedly violating the privacy of children. It is the highest fine ever received under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which forbids children under the age of 13 from collecting data without their parents ‘ explicit consent. In this case, the ruling means Youtube cant employ its powerful ad targeting system on anyone who might be under the age of 13. It’s a dire problem for a platform with so many children or youth users.
The new system is already leaving creators scrambling about what is perceived to be exactly the material of children and what might happen if they accidentally mislabel images. Children’s advocacy groups like Common Sense do not feel the rules go far enough, and putting most of the burden on creators rather than YouTube itself will not do enough to protect children online. However, the rules are “completely consistent with what YouTube under this settlement order is required to do.
Inside YouTube, it is clear that there will be less benefits on the site for child-directed videos. The most obvious is to eliminate targeted ads, but it is also impossible to remove a variety of other YouTube features without personalized information. Specifically, children’s videos will no longer include a comment section, click-through info cards, end screens, notification functions, and the Community tab.