YouTube rolled out a series of changes that would put the platform in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
When content intended for children is viewed on the platform, YouTube will disable a series of features for both children and adult users. The most significant change will be that personalized advertising and comments will be disabled on all content intended for kids.
But these aren’t the only features that are disappearing on these videos. For instance, the notification bell, save to playlist or save to watch later features will also disappear when watching children’s content. Cards on end screens of videos, channel branding watermarks and channel memberships will also be disabled, while creators will also be unable to collect donations on children’s videos.
The changes come as YouTube paid a $170 million fine in September for violating COPPA. COPPA requires websites and online services targeted at children under the age of 13 to follow certain standards and requirements for delivering content. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), along with New York Attorney General Letitia James, accused YouTube of tracking children’s viewing histories and serving targeted ads to those children.
After paying the fine, YouTube said it would impose a series of changes in four months that would “treat data from anyone watching children’s content on YouTube as coming from a child, regardless of the age of the user.” The changes rolled out today will apply to all viewers of content marked for children, regardless of age.
Those changes will adversely content creators who rely on advertising revenue and donations (through the YouTube platform). Some content creators have expressed concerns about the changes, particularly worried that having young audience may affect their ability to make revenue.
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