YouTube plans to remove child stars – parents say radical solution to complex problem

The changes YouTube is planning to protect children are not going very well with some parents whose children are the stars of the videos on the site.

YouTube plans to transfer all content featuring children to YouTube Kids, an app Google US: GOOGL

– owner of YouTube – created in 2015. This possible move is in part a response to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation into Google, which concerned that YouTube exposed children under 13 to inappropriate videos and illegally collected data about them, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Parents of child stars consider quitting YouTube

Some parents of YouTube star children are concerned that moving children’s content off the main site could dramatically reduce the revenue they generate on their videos.

Creators on the main YouTube platform in general earn between $ 1000 and $ 5000 ad revenue per million views on their videos. YouTube has nearly 2 billion monthly users, the company says, and is the second most popular website in the world, behind only Google. YouTubers with over 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 viewing hours in the past 12 months have the possibility to associate Google Adsense with their account, which allows them to monetize their content.

“It’s not a viable business model for those of us who create good family content. The revenue currently generated from views on the YouTube Kids app is very low. ”

– —Father of two YouTube star children, who advocates for more child safety protections on all YouTube platforms

YouTubers get paid when someone clicks on an ad in one of their videos or watches one of their videos for more than 30 seconds. Creators can make more money from videos sponsored by their brand. YouTube Kids has around 11 million weekly users. With fewer users, YouTube Kids attracts fewer advertisers and generates less ad revenue for creators than YouTube’s main platform.

A father-of-one YouTube star with nearly 2 million subscribers told MarketWatch that on average, only 10% of his 8-year-old daughter’s video views come from the YouTube Kids app. He asked to remain anonymous for this story.

Some of her daughter’s videos go against this trend, but the ones that receive much lower ad revenue. “I watched a few videos that 90% of the views are from YouTube Kids. Based on these figures, revenues would decrease by 80%. So instead of $ 1.00 you will receive $ 0.20, ”he told MarketWatch.

Her videos are mostly clips of her daughter playing with various toys. He declined to share with MarketWatch how much money he currently earns from the channel each year.

He is not in favor of the potential change and says it could cause him to quit the platform altogether. “I should see if the time invested made sense compared to the income created,” he said.

See also: YouTube to turn off commenting on videos featuring children

Another father with a YouTube channel for his two children that has around 1.7 million subscribers says he “applauds YouTube for wanting to protect children from potentially inappropriate content.”

“Children need to be protected,” he said, adding, “It’s a two-way street. Legitimate creators need a path to have the resources to continue creating content for children. “

But he doesn’t think the change could work in practice. “It’s not a viable business model for those of us who create good family content,” the dad, who wishes to remain anonymous, told MarketWatch. “The current revenue generated from views on the YouTube Kids app is very low, a tiny fraction of the main platform.”

YouTube says it’s just an “idea”

“We are considering many ideas to improve YouTube and some are just: ideas. Others we are developing and launching, like our restrictions on minors in live streaming or the updated hate speech policy, ”a Google spokesperson told MarketWatch when asked about the change.

Uploading all children’s videos to YouTube Kids is one of the many changes YouTube is reportedly considering following public and FTC pressure to protect child users. Other potential changes include removing the autoplay feature from children’s videos.

The feature prompts for a new video to play automatically when the video someone is currently watching ends. Some parents are concerned that this could lead children from children’s content to adult content without them touching the computer.

Internet Child Safety Advocates Want More

“Moving the videos to YouTube Kids is a positive move if that happens,” said Donna Rice Hughes, president of the children’s Internet Safety nonprofit. Enough is enough and a former member of the FTC’s Child Online Protection Act Commission, told MarketWatch. “But that’s not enough.

“I would love to see YouTube and social media platforms do a real age check. They say you have to be 13, but anyone can type in a date of birth that says they’re 13, ”Hughes said. “These companies must prioritize the safety of children.”

YouTube said in early June Press release that its site is not intended for persons under the age of 13 and that “accounts belonging to persons under the age of 13 are terminated when discovered”.

“ In the real world, we wouldn’t take the kids to an adult-only area and tell them to find the kid-only area or bring them to the kid-only area and tell them that they can go to the adults only area whenever they want. ”

– —Hemu Nigam, Founder of Cybersecurity Consulting Firm SSP Blue

Hemu Nigam, former head of cybersecurity at MySpace and founder of cybersecurity consultancy firm SSP Blue, also believes that moving all children’s content to YouTube Kids is a good thing.

“Everyone is focused on income, but first we have to think about the safety of the children,” said Nigam. “In the real world, we wouldn’t take the kids to an adult only area and tell them to find the kids area or bring them to the kids area and tell them they can go to the adults only area whenever they want. So why are we doing this on YouTube and the internet? “

And even though YouTube transfers all of its children’s content to YouTube Kids, minors may still be exposed to inappropriate videos. Earlier this year, a widely shared blog post pointed out animated shooting and suicide videos on YouTube Kids.

YouTube says it is actively responding to child safety concerns and has removed more than 800,000 videos for violating its child safety policies in the first quarter of 2019 alone.

Shares of parent company YouTube Alphabet Inc. rose 4% this year compared to a 13% increase for the Dow Jones Industrial Average US: DJIA
and a gain of 16% for the S&P 500 US index: SPX

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