YouTube Cracks Down on Inappropriate Content for Kids
Keeping our kids away from unsavory content on the Internet has been a constant concern, even back when the web was nothing but green text on a black screen. As the Internet expanded exponentially, so did parents’ worries regarding who and what their children were being exposed to. Even sites that were specifically designed for children’s eyes only became susceptible to trolls and others posting questionable content. In recent months, YouTube had come under scrutiny with an alarming amount of videos “slipping past filters” on the Google-owned YouTube Kids, which is supposed to contain only child-friendly content that’s automatically filtered from the main YouTube site.
In a statement released on their Blog this week, YouTube addressed the “growing trend” regarding content that “attempts to pass as family-friendly, but is clearly not.”
Juniper Downs, YouTube’s director of policy, said in a statement: “Earlier this year, we updated our policies to make content featuring inappropriate use of family entertainment characters ineligible for monetisation. We’re in the process of implementing a new policy that age restricts this content in the YouTube main app when flagged. Age-restricted content is automatically not allowed in YouTube Kids. The YouTube team is made up of parents who are committed to improving our apps and getting this right.”
Part of the issue has been that the types of videos that YouTube Kids features is not screened by human eyes, rather a series of formulas and algorithms detect what content is suitable for children. Some of the breach in content came in the form of seemingly benign and kid-friendly characters, such as Peppa Pig and PAW Patrol.
In their blog post, titled “5 ways we’re toughening our approach to protect families on YouTube and YouTube Kids,” YouTube clearly outlines its plan to crack down on inappropriate and offensive content that has been making its way through the filters:
- Tougher application of our Community Guidelines and faster enforcement through technology 2) Removing ads from inappropriate videos targeting families 3) Blocking inappropriate comments on videos featuring minors 4) Providing guidance for creators who make family-friendly content 5) Engaging and learning from experts
While YouTube’s measures are a step in the right direction, it’s still up to parents to monitor the kinds of videos kids are watching to ensure nothing unpleasant or inappropriate finds its way onto screens.