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YouTube's Potentially Draconian COPPA Compliance Rules
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Forum Graveyard - Media - YouTube's Potentially Draconian COPPA Compliance Rules
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Recently, YouTube was hit with a fine of around $170 million by the Federal Trade Commission for violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act by gathering advertising data on children under 13. As part of their agreement with the FTC, they're forcing content creators to mark their content as either being "for kids" or "not for kids." "For kids" videos can't serve targeted ads, which are apparently the biggest source of ad revenue for YouTube and, by extension, YouTubers. In addition, once this new policy is fully in place, comments, notifications, and clickable end-cards will be disabled. This alone is bad enough, but it gets worse for those whose videos fall into a sort-of gray area, such as Let's Players who play kid-friendly games and toy reviewers who review toys from the perspective of a collector. All YouTube's For Kids/Not For Kids marking algorithm, or some less-than-savvy FTC lawyer, will see is the kid-appeal stuff. If you don't mark your videos APPROPRIATELY, you could face a $42,000 fine per video, so marking your videos as "Not For Kids" is not an option if you have someone like Mario, Sonic, or Optimus Prime in it. This seems like it has the potential to kill many gaming and toy review channels, and I'm seeing lots of videos from such channels voicing their concerns about this. I'm pretty worried myself because I was hoping to someday make a career out of my YouTube channel.

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Quintesson Judge: Silence, or you will be held in contempt of this court!
Hot Rod: I have nothing but contempt for this court!
- Transformers the Movie (1986)
hmm, now I do wonder if music covers and the like would be considered "for kids" or "not for kids"? I don't do any let's plays on my channel (tho I have considered it at one point), but I still do wonder if those would even count for anything :V

then again, idgaf about the ad revenue anyway, so if I mark my videos as being "for kids" then I would be fine probably ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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My understanding is that this has been completely overblown, and that if you mark your stuff as not for kids, that's it. Things continue as normal. You can only really be punished if you mark content not for kids as for kids. It's intended to stop content farms from abusing the YouTube kids app. The loss of revenue from ads will be enough to stop those weird Spiderman and Elsa videos, if that makes sense

I really doubt anyone will get punished at all for marking their let's plays as not for kids. The panic you're seeing is coming from YouTubers who don't understand and have set their channel to "case by case basis" and are suddenly not getting revenue because of it.

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O.K., there's something that's making me scratch my head. Didn't they say that comments will be disabled on kids videos? Well, I have my channel set for kids, but my comments are still visible and I think I can still comment. So what's the deal with this "no comments" thing then?

Click the character on the right side of my layout to visit my Discord server and discuss and play and look at and get updates and sneak peeks of the games and other things I'm making.

The authors of these 2 My Little Pony fan games have removed their games from the Internet.
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They probably just haven't fully implemented their changes yet. It's likely that some of the announced changes will only take effect in a few months, whereas other changes are already in effect right now.

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Originally posted by DPBOX
O.K., there's something that's making me scratch my head. Didn't they say that comments will be disabled on kids videos? Well, I have my channel set for kids, but my comments are still visible and I think I can still comment. So what's the deal with this "no comments" thing then?


YouTube doesn't need to take action until Jan 1st 2020 so most likely at that point is when comments will be removed, creators are just given the choice right now to preset their channels accordingly.

Originally posted by Teyla
My understanding is that this has been completely overblown, and that if you mark your stuff as not for kids, that's it. Things continue as normal. You can only really be punished if you mark content not for kids as for kids. It's intended to stop content farms from abusing the YouTube kids app. The loss of revenue from ads will be enough to stop those weird Spiderman and Elsa videos, if that makes sense

I really doubt anyone will get punished at all for marking their let's plays as not for kids. The panic you're seeing is coming from YouTubers who don't understand and have set their channel to "case by case basis" and are suddenly not getting revenue because of it.


It's deeper than that not as simple as setting a video or your channel as "not for kids" as YouTube is developing machine learning to figure out if videos are for kids or not which is unnerving but not only that if you create videos for teenagers where younger kids could potentially be a large audience you can still be flagged for making videos for kids while checking the "not of kids" box. Really though it's the FTC kinda fucking things up for everyone.


The biggest issue here is this whole mess is just that a mess and it's not as simple as I play Mario game my stuff is for kids because is context important or just characters. Like If I'm playing Mario and I curse like a sailor who stubbed his pug leg would that be considered for kids since the main part of the video is seen as a game made of kids. Say I play something more mature but censor all language and gore would that be not for kids even if I'm trying to make it family friendly? What about all the channels that use more basic graphics and softer music while explaining complex issues like global warming or war do those get flagged as for kids cause anyone can understand them and they're using more kid friendly graphics?
Here's something I thought of, though. It might be a loophole in the system. If you don't want to deal with the restrictions placed on kids videos, try marking your kid videos as not for kids then putting a bunch of cuss words in the description. Do you think this will work?

Still, encouraging people to cuss is definitely NOT good!

Click the character on the right side of my layout to visit my Discord server and discuss and play and look at and get updates and sneak peeks of the games and other things I'm making.

The authors of these 2 My Little Pony fan games have removed their games from the Internet.
Rise of the Clockwork Stallions has been updated! Download My Little Pony: Rise of the Clockwork Stallions DX: Director's Cut and My Little Pony: Magic Shards now! Spread this link!

Originally posted by Ninja Boy
It's deeper than that not as simple as setting a video or your channel as "not for kids" as YouTube is developing machine learning to figure out if videos are for kids or not which is unnerving but not only that if you create videos for teenagers where younger kids could potentially be a large audience you can still be flagged for making videos for kids while checking the "not of kids" box. Really though it's the FTC kinda fucking things up for everyone.

Have they said they're going to be flagging videos as "for kids" though? My thought was that they would be using said algorithm for removing the flag from incorrectly flagged videos, and not the other way around.

I mean I don't trust YouTube to handle it correctly but my understanding is this all came to a head because of how messed up YouTube Kids was, so the easiest way to fix it is to get the offending videos off of the platform and stop advertising and collecting data from it.

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Originally posted by Teyla
Originally posted by Ninja Boy
It's deeper than that not as simple as setting a video or your channel as "not for kids" as YouTube is developing machine learning to figure out if videos are for kids or not which is unnerving but not only that if you create videos for teenagers where younger kids could potentially be a large audience you can still be flagged for making videos for kids while checking the "not of kids" box. Really though it's the FTC kinda fucking things up for everyone.

Have they said they're going to be flagging videos as "for kids" though? My thought was that they would be using said algorithm for removing the flag from incorrectly flagged videos, and not the other way around.

I mean I don't trust YouTube to handle it correctly but my understanding is this all came to a head because of how messed up YouTube Kids was, so the easiest way to fix it is to get the offending videos off of the platform and stop advertising and collecting data from it.



The goal of the algorithm is to find videos targeted towards children that are labeled not for kids since that is what can get people including YouTube in trouble, if you flag a video for kids and it's not for kids there's no penalty as it's related to COPPA and the gathering of info not what kids actually watch.
Then YouTube is picking the boneheaded dumb solution as they tend to do I guess.

I think the solution should still be control on the user side rather than the creator side. YouTube was (iirc) 13-and-up back before Google bought it. A simple solution would be to age restrict the website, and like I said, only unflag videos marked as for kids rather than algorithmically flag them. If the below 13 accounts can't see all-ages intended videos, then you can argue they aren't gathering info.

Essentially pg-13 the majority of the website.

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The main issue is this is out of YouTube's hands it's the FTC that's dictating all these rules and the data they gathered for YouTube collecting data on users under 13 were 1) kids using their parents account which collected data on minors using the platform and 2) data collected by users under the age of 13 who had an account but were logged out.

You can kind of see that no matter what the FTC is gonna win that fight because there's no denying that they're wrong.
For everyone who wants to know more or the shitstorm that is COPPA and the FTC to get informed about what is going to be affected watch this.

Hearing about this has kinda demotivated me to make more YouTube content as of late. I'm not even sure what to do since I cater more to niche interests than specific age groups, and while I believe (most of) my content would appeal to kids, it wouldn't necessarily be strictly for kids. I can't imagine what it must be like for anyone who's been doing this for a living. The response of "talk to a lawyer" is less than less than satisfactory. I absolutely do not want my videos to be 'invisible' or unable to receive feedback, and if they are come Jan. 1st then IDK why I'd even stick around. It's the feeling of something I'd been used to for so long and a major hobby now being up in the air as to whether or not it will topple. Videos of swearing and edgy content from creators who want to make sure their content isn't flagged will be more accessible to kids than videos flagged as being "for kids". That's gonna protect kids ain't it? Is this really what the FTC wants? For some reason this kinda reminds me of the SOPA battle.

I want to believe that should any doors close that another one opens.

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Legacy custom music
A site where you can watch my YT videos AND be able to hit that dislike where your dislike will be visible to other people and not have to rely on a browser extension

What's their definition of something "for kids", anyway? I honestly think this is still a broad and subjective line since it's pretty hard to define right away. I could watch a video of a ROM hack or even a movie (depending on the movie), but it won't be fine for content creators cause this sort of decision might even affect stuff such as their monetization and comments, and it seems that they cannot bypass the system without risking being fined.
And most importantly, what's the point of YouTube Kids if those rules are just gonna be put to use in the future? I can't believe this whole situation is dumb enough that their parents aren't able to supervise them. Is it really that hard?
Given the sheer scope of content on YouTube, I don't think it would be realistically feasible to fine or sue every single creator who mislabels their content. That would be at least as difficult as trying to stop piracy. That's pretty much why I'm more worried about censorship, abuse, and machine learning than about fines. Turning off community tab, comments, and notification bell is really just censorship with "limiting data collection" used as an excuse.

Also, when they say kids' content "won't be able to be shared" does that mean posting the URL somehow won't work anymore, or you just won't be able to share directly to Facebook, Twitter, or wherever? And if not being able to save it to anothers' playlist applies retroactively, I think a lot of playlists would get b0rked. What's the point of it being for kids if not even kids will be able to find it?

I wonder if this could be a potential light at the end of the tunnel.

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Legacy custom music
A site where you can watch my YT videos AND be able to hit that dislike where your dislike will be visible to other people and not have to rely on a browser extension

The more I think about it, the more this does seem like a backdoor censorship method. The criteria for "kid-targeted" content is broad and vague enough that it can be used to silence activists. Funny how this is happening as the 2020 US presidential race is reaching the home stretch. Originally, I didn't consider that when considering this new policy's censorship potential. How often do political activism videos use, for example, bright, flashy colors or animation?

Additionally, this system works well for YouTube trying to become another Netflix or Hulu. Only the corporate-owned channels will really be able to survive in this environment. They have deep enough pockets to fight any potential fines for mislabeling content.

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Quintesson Judge: Silence, or you will be held in contempt of this court!
Hot Rod: I have nothing but contempt for this court!
- Transformers the Movie (1986)
This has nothing to do with censorship or making YouTube into another pay to view service this is honestly just simply old people not understanding the internet and thinking specific things that they view as "unsafe" for children are rather harmless.

Please people do research and stop the spread of misinformation all it does is more harm than good when you just speculate on what the "real" reason is.
The FTC themselves have posted a blog.
Some things it says:

Originally posted by blog
To be clear, your content isn’t considered “directed to children” just because some children may see it. However, if your intended audience is kids under 13, you’re covered by COPPA and have to honor the Rule’s requirements.

Originally posted by blog
First, unless you’re affirmatively targeting kids, there are many subject matter categories where you don’t have to worry about COPPA. For example, if your videos are about traditionally adult activities like employment, finances, politics, home ownership, home improvement, or travel, you’re probably not covered unless your content is geared toward kids. The same would be true for videos aimed at high school or college students. On the other hand, if your content includes traditional children’s pastimes or activities, it may be child-directed. For example, the FTC recently determined that an online dress-up game was child-directed.

Originally posted by blog
Second, just because your video has bright colors or animated characters doesn’t mean you’re automatically covered by COPPA. While many animated shows are directed to kids, the FTC recognizes there can be animated programming that appeals to everyone.

Originally posted by blog
Finally, if you’ve applied the factors listed in the COPPA Rule and still wonder if your content is “directed to children,” it might help to consider how others view your content and content similar to yours. Has your channel been reviewed on sites that evaluate content for kids?

Originally posted by blog
Yes, the FTC is currently evaluating the Rule in light of rapid changes in technology. If you would like to comment on the effectiveness of the COPPA Rule and whether changes are needed, the FTC has extended the comment deadline to December 9, 2019.


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Legacy custom music
A site where you can watch my YT videos AND be able to hit that dislike where your dislike will be visible to other people and not have to rely on a browser extension

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Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Forum Graveyard - Media - YouTube's Potentially Draconian COPPA Compliance Rules

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