Digital Digest - January 17, 2020

This week we’d like to highlight the recent changes in YouTubes listing rules, what this means for child safety, and what the change is all about. Firstly, “YouTube starting this month is requiring all creators, regardless of location and whether or not they produce content intended for children, to designate whether their videos are made for kids. And many YouTubers are concerned that the new rules will hurt their monetization — or even expose them to fines if their content is mislabeled.” 

This means that when posting videos on YouTube, a clearer distinction is made when deciding who the video is for. For institutions like us, which have safe search and block-advertising auto-enabled, this is good news as it will continue to refine the filters on content, and allow YouTube to become an even better learning resource. However, this does have a downside. YouTube creators now have to choose to label their videos for children. If they do this, the videos have much stricter advertising rules (leading to less profit). The new rules also make the creator liable (via fines) for not labeling their content as “meant for children”. The logical conclusion of this will be that the incentive to create content for kids will be reduced and with it the content created. On par, however, I think this is a good move and a solid first step at trying to refine and come in line with a set rights children should have online. This is long overdue. As a teacher, I have lived through the internet revolution. I have seen and participated in all of the upsides. However, it is also important not to see everything through rose-tinted glasses. One of the clear downsides of the open internet that I have seen is the lack of safe, appropriately adult/child delineated spaces for kids to explore. As such this is another step in the right direction and we are glad to see YouTube taking this step.