YouTube COPPA policy changes for content creators. COPPA BS. Is your content for kids?

youtube creators are required to tell us if their content is made for kids

YouTube is putting yet another hurdle in front of content creators, YouTube’s bread and butter, if you will. Content creators make millions of dollars for YouTube, and yet, they’re slapped again by another YouTube rule that makes no sense, with no explanation. Typical YouTube. The FTC is stepping in with COPPA regulations.

I can’t tell you how many times my younger kids have seen a video where someone drops the F word or other very inappropriate material on YouTube. They know it needs to be shut off once those words are heard. What is YouTube doing for this? YouTube has done nothing except punish the quality video creators making great content.

YouTube is really good at scanning videos for photos or images or video used in a video for possible copyright infringement, and yet, can’t scan for the F word.

Some of you may remember that incident with Logan Paul, a popular YouTuber who filmed a dead body in the infamous suicide forest of Japan.

Logan Paul is a very popular YouTuber (who also makes YouTube A LOT of money.) The Logan Paul video in Japan sparked a change in YouTube policy. YouTube advertisers did not want their products advertised on videos such as this, and who can blame them?

How did YouTube “fix” that problem? They raised the required subscribers to 1,000 and video hours watched to 4,000. That’s right. YouTube channels could not be monetized (make money) until they met these goals. 1,000 subscribers is a lot to ask YouTube creators just starting out.

This was a terrible idea, which resolved nothing. The idiots such as Logan Paul, who have thousands or millions of YouTube subscribers, continue to make poor quality videos.

Logan Paul and his videos are moronic, at best. He’s well over 1 million subscribers! How is this YouTube ruling going to stop YouTube creators like him posting horrific, bad taste videos like the japanese suicide forest video? It won’t.

I know many small YouTube creators doing a great job, who have no more than 300 subscribers. These YouTube channels are educational, entertaining and fun to watch. Meanwhile, the idiotic Logan Pauls of the YouTube world are still making money with 1 million plus subscribers.

Seems YouTube should look at content instead of numbers. Oops…did I say YouTube (owned by google) should not look at numbers / dollars? Stupid me.

COOPA ruling that will change / destroy (hopefully) YouTube

In the newest YouTube ruling as of 11/13/2019, YouTube needs every content creator to say if their video content is made for kids or not. Interesting. No explanation from YouTube as to why each video for each video creator needs to be tagged.

On Tuesday afternoon, YouTube formally announced its plan to have creators label any videos of theirs that may appeal to children. Starting in January 2020, if creators mark a video as directed at kids, data collection will be blocked for all viewers, resulting in lower ad revenue, and those videos will lose some of the platform’s most popular features, including comments and end screens. It’s a major change in how YouTube works, and has left some creators clueless as to whether they’re subject to the new rules.

Reached by The Verge, Google confirmed that this new system was the result of a landmark $170 million settlement YouTube reached with the Federal Trade Commission in September for allegedly violating children’s privacy. It’s the largest fine ever collected under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which forbids collecting data from children under the age of 13 without explicit consent from their parents. In this case, the ruling means YouTube can’t employ its powerful ad-targeting system on anyone who might be under the age of 13 — a dire problem for a platform with so many young users.

The new system is already sending creators reeling over what exactly is considered kids’ content and what could happen if they unintentionally mislabel videos. Some of YouTube’s most popular categories falls into a gray area for the policy, including gaming videos, family vlogging, and toy reviews.

“Creators are being held directly responsible by the FTC,“ Dan Eardley, who reviews collectible toys on his channel Pixel Dan, told The Verge on Wednesday. “So if the FTC decides that [we] are indeed targeting children, we’ll be fined. That is frightening.”

“It’s especially scary because the verbiage of ‘kid directed’ vs ‘kid attractive’ isn’t very clear,” he continued. “It’s hard to know if we’re in violation or not.”

In practice, that means as of Jan. 1, 2020, all content creators will have to designate whether or not each of their videos is “directed to children” (aka “kid-directed” aka “child-directed”) by checking a box during the upload process. Checking that box will prevent the video from running personalized ads.

A lot of YouTube creators will lose money, as will YouTube. YouTube is shooting themselves in the wallet at the expense of losing many more YouTube creators.

The bottom line is if you make content that is intended for teens or adults, but also contains elements from the FTC’s list of 10 factors that appeal to kids under 13, you’re in danger of being demonetized starting the beginning of the new year.

MOST YOUTUBE CREATORS WILL LOSE SEVERE MONEY

Although it’s not clear, I wonder if this has to do with adult ads showing up on children’s channels. I have seen many Ford truck commercials on children’s channels, as an example. Will these kids buy a Ford truck? NOPE. That is a waste of Ford advertising dollars since it’s on a kid channel. Is this what it’s about? YouTube doesn’t say. Advertisers don’t want to advertise on kid channels?

YouTube has never said anything direct, especially when dealing with money. Creators are kept in the dark by Youtube as to what goes on behind closed doors at YouTube. Instructions are cryptic at best.

How drastically will YouTube creator income be impacted? By our assessment, very drastically.

We asked YouTube creators to go into Creator Studio and disable personalized ads (called “Interest-Based Ads”, under the “Advanced” tab) for a few days. Based on our initial testing, a video not running  personalized ads sees a loss in revenue somewhere between 60% to 90%. So, if a video on a given channel could generate $100 in revenue for a creator right now with personalized ads running, categorizing the video as “directed to children” (and therefore removing the personalized ads) would mean the video’s revenue would drop to somewhere between $10 and $40.

YouTube videos directed towards children will NOT make money

So wait, in 2018, YouTube enforced the clean videos for children ruling. Now, starting in 2020, if YouTube videos are geared towards children, you will not make money as a YouTube video creator.

Maybe, as a YouTube video creator, you should state in the beginning of each video, that this content isn’t for children…then use swear words strategically.

Facing a financial loss that large might be enough to make some creators consider not checking the “directed to children” box even if they make videos for kids. But consequences for that are stiff. If the FTC decides an uploaded video is kid-directed, but sees it is not marked as kid-directed, the creator could face a fine of over $42,000 per video. That financial liability is enough to bankrupt most creators.

MASS FINES FOR YOUTUBE CREATORS BY THE FTC

With so much content uploaded to YouTube every day, the FTC is likely to focus on high-profile cases against popular channels. Under COPPA, the FTC is entitled to seek $42,000 for each mislabeled video, which means monetary damages could quickly grow to a staggering scale.So wait, if I have a video that is geared towards kids or a video that a kid may like, and I don’t check off the proper box for the video settings, I could be fined $42,000?

HA HA HA HA HA!!

Really? Seriously?! The FTC is going to fine each YouTube creator $42,000 for posting a kid-friendly video if they do not check the box saying it is for kids?

Does this mean kid-worthy video material or kid-only content? I do not have videos of kid’s toys on my channels but it’s certainly something any child could watch. So which is it YouTube? Do you mean kid-only content or kid-friendly content? What if you answer wrong? Well, YouTube will penalize you by demonetizing you (you can’t make money on YouTube.)

THIS SUMS IT UP RIGHT HERE: FROM A YOUTUBE VIDEO CREATOR:

Unless I’m misunderstanding something the issue here isn’t about the uploaders ‘publishing content for your kids’. The issue is with uploaders publishing content, for adults, that your kids could find appealing, and now the FTC can come along and claim the video is directed at kids(even if the uploader intended it for a purely adult audience) and sue the uploader for failing to flag their own video properly…

It’s entirely too vague as well. Like, I make nature/travel documentary-type videos exploring various parks in Oregon. My content is all G-rated and focused on learning about Nature , but it isnt directed at children, but that doesn’t mean some children won’t find it appealing. So do I flag my videos as ‘directed at children’ and lose a bunch of features even though I’m making videos for adults to be on the safe side? I honestly don’t know.

It seems like all this could have been avoided if parents would just monitor their own damn kids while online instead of making content creators monitor themselves so that lazy parents can be lazy…

 

WOW! It’s obvious YouTube is doing everything they can to close their doors by pushing their video creators away. Do a search for YouTube COPPA and you will find hundreds of videos on this insanity.

I have removed 2 of my YouTube channels since I had toy-related unboxing videos that kids would watch. SEE YA YOUTUBE! Many people are doing the same.

YouTube creators are being punished financially again by YouTube

The FTC believes that creators running personalized ads poses a privacy risk to kids, despite the fact that the creators themselves have no access to data about individual viewers. The FTC assumes that banning personalized ads on any content kids enjoy is in a child’s best interest; it doesn’t see the unintended consequences for creators who, in some cases, rely almost entirely on personalized ads to make their livelihoods.

Without revenue from personalized ads, creators could be forced to stop making quality, kid-friendly content. That will only hurt kids and parents who depend on free, ad-supported entertainment. Meanwhile, the FTC’s privacy concern already has an available solution. Parents concerned about privacy issues can let their children watch YouTube via the free YouTube Kids app (which has never and will never run targeted advertising) without the FTC needing to disrupt YouTube’s main platform. That’s a choice easily available to every parent. The FTC should not be punishing creators for the fact that parents choose to let their kids watch YouTube instead of YouTube Kids.

Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t COPPA about collecting data from minors? The YouTubers aren’t the one’s collecting data, correct?

These changes will affect thousands of YouTube creators who are completely unaware the vast majority of their advertising revenue could disappear in less than 10 weeks. But there is a brief window for creators to raise their voice to the FTC and have an impact on how we’re all affected.

BUT WAIT…..THAT’S NOT ALL!

Starting 1/2020, YouTube will no longer allow comments on any videos. You will also not be able to save videos to the WATCH LATER playlist or any playlist. The notification bell is also going away so you will not be alerted when your favorite YouTube creator uploads a video.

YouTube is stripping away all tools and money-making possibilities for their creators. I know YouTube video creation isn’t all about the money but these videos cost money to make. A lot of YouTubers rely on YouTube income as a job or at least side income.

Let’s look at something else affected. Camera, lighting, microphone and video production equipment sales will plummet. If less people are making YouTube videos, I’m sure these areas will fail as well.

This FTC ruling on youtube COPPA is beyond ridiculous. NO REASON has been given as to WHY this is happening. Are the wrong ads being shown to kids? Are advertisers upset their advertising dollars are being wasted on kids? No one is understanding. What is the big deal with ads on videos for kids? This really needs to be explained. I know a handful of YouTube creators who shut their channels down yesterday because this makes no sense and they don’t want to deal with it. I shut down one of my channels as well. If you think we’re going to pay $42,000 because a video on kite making will be seen by a kid or a lego stop motion animation video is seen by kids, I’m gone. It’s not worth it. I make maybe $50 a month and I’m NOT ever going to pay $42,00 for a stupid ruling! WHAT THE HELL IS THAT! An ad shows on my video that a kid may see so I get nailed with a $42,000 fine? WHY? The FTC is acting as if we are trying to sneak porn in to YOUTUBE and sell these kids drugs.

Within YouTube, it’s clear that child-directed videos will have fewer advantages on the platform. The most obvious is the removal of targeted ads, but a number of other YouTube features are also impossible without personalized data. In particular, child-directed videos will no longer include a comments section, click-through info cards, end screens, notification functions, and the community tab, all powerful tools for driving viewers back to a channel.

I just receive this email today…check it out and let me know what you think. One thing is for sure; there will still be plenty of bad YouTube channels with vulgarity and bad content. As long as they make thousands for YouTube, I guess that’s all that matters.

Here’s YouTube’s kid content email all YouTubers received, dated 11/13/2020

Important changes that may impact your monetization and content discoverability are coming.
Starting today, all creators are required to tell us if their content is made for kids in order to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and/or other applicable laws. To help you comply, we are introducing a new audience setting in YouTube Studio.
Depending on the amount of made for kids content on your channel, you can set your audience at either the channel level or the video level. For those who are setting at the channel level, it is just one click.
These changes are required as part of a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and NY Attorney General, and will help you comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and/or other applicable laws.
We know that these changes won’t be easy for some creators, and that this required change is going to take some time getting used to. But these are important steps to take to ensure compliance with the law.
Please read more below to understand your legal obligations and the impact these choices may have on your channel.
What is changing?
Starting today, all creators are required to mark their content as made for kids or not made for kids in YouTube Studio.
Starting in January: we will limit the data we collect on made for kids content to comply with the law. This means we will disable personalized ads on this content (which affects revenue for creators making content for kids), as well as certain features like comments, notifications and others. Note: You may see some small changes as we experiment and refine our systems over the next few months.
For a list of affected features, go here.
Why is this happening?
These changes are required as part of a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and NY Attorney General, and will help you comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and/or other applicable laws.
Regardless of your location, we are required to ask you to set your videos as made for kids if they fall into that category, please make these settings as soon as possible.
We’ll also use machine learning systems to help us find content that is clearly made for kids. But do not rely on our systems to set content for you — like all automated systems, ours are not perfect.
If you don’t set your content or if we detect error or abuse, we may set your audience for you. If you fail to set your content accurately you may face compliance issues with the FTC or other authorities, and we may take action on your YouTube account.
What is “made for kids” content?
We cannot provide specific legal advice, but according to the FTC’s guidance on COPPA, a video is child directed (which we call “made for kids”) if:
It is directed to children as the primary audience (e.g. videos for preschoolers).
It is directed to children but children are a secondary audience (e.g. cartoon video that primarily targets teenagers but is also intended for younger kids).
Learn more about the factors that determine if your content is considered as made for kids here.
We know this won’t be easy for some creators, and that this required change is going to take some getting used to. While we cannot provide legal advice, we are committed to helping you through this transition.
You can learn more about your own obligations under The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the tools we are building to support you here.
The YouTube Team

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I’m a video editor of 25 years, computer technician of 25 years, audio engineer 20 years, photographer 25 years and guitarist 20 years. I post photography and stop motion animation videos, but mainly guitar playing. This post may contain affiliate links to products I use and review.

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