Content of YouTube

As YouTube is an opened-channel for global users and audience, content uploaded might not always be inspected thoroughly. Child protection then became a hit topic for the usage of YouTube as between 2011 and 2017, the time spent with mobile device among 0- to 8-year-olds have increased for 31% (according to a report from Common Sense Media).

Even though there are many educational channels (e.g. Vsauce, a channel exploring scientific issues and explains them in simpler language) available for children and students to learn from, the use of headphones makes it difficult for parents to notice the content their children are watching.

For a young generation who grew up surrounded by technology, they might not be fully aware of the appropriate content for their age. Evolution allows people to access more information worldwide and giving children the opportunity to “explore and grow and express themselves” (Something is wrong on the internet)is the wish of many parents as they did not have the chance to do so in their time.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wy0iPjPkr6c?rel=0&start=50&w=560&h=315]

However with the control of kids’ channel on YouTube, there are still parody videos like the above that could catch the eyes of a child. From the example above, the video could send them inappropriate and violent message (implant an idea) of the resolution to conflicts. Other than negative influential videos, disturbing imagery and sneaky advertisement can be found on YouTube. This is just a tip of the iceberg of the under-filtering that is happening on YouTube.

Change in Policies

We learnt from my last post (How to use YouTube Effectively) that YouTube has changed its requirements for their YouTubers to join or continue their member to the YouTuber Partner Program (YPP). YouTubers must make sure their content follow the YouTube Partner Programme policies, YouTube Terms of Service, YouTube spam policies and Community Guidelines.

It also raise the number of people monitoring video content to 10,000 in 2018 (25% increase), and removal of adverts from any content that is considered violent, offensive, or inappropriate therefore cut off the revenue of those channels. (Can you keep your kids safe watching YouTube?) These guidelines may help constrict and guard the platform, yet as we do not know the scale of the problem, there is no way to find out if these measures are adequate.

Future Protection

Changes to policy and interface are recommended by parents and websites as they think more filtering is needed to protect the young generation.

For example, sharing YouTube’s content sorting technology works with a third party and experts to make sure it works; making a fine line with mandatory age labelling by content producers preventing inappropriate content from YouTube Kids.

Now that you know the dangers in YouTube, what do you suggest or, what can you DO?