YouTube introduces changes to platform following FTC settlement

▲ YouTube is working to protect children on their site. Image source: YouTube.


Effective immediately, YouTube is adjusting how content specifically made for children is presented on its platform to comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fined Google for alleged violations of children's privacy laws last fall.


As part of the $170 million fine, the FTC and the New York attorney general, Letitia James, noted that Google intentionally marketed the video platform to advertisers knowing that many channels were popular with children. It was also alleged that YouTube tracked the viewing histories of children on their platform to serve them specific ads catered to their content preferences.


On Monday afternoon, YouTube released a video titled "Featured impacted by COPPA: Made for Kids Content" where Lauren, the Head of Family Partnerships at YouTube broke down what was changing.



Going forward, viewers will no longer see personalized ads on videos directed for children. They will, however, see ads based on the context of the video but "they will be less personalized," said Lauren. Users will also notice that features such as Comments, Live Chat, the Notification bell, and Playlist options will be automatically disabled. Channels that are entirely targeted for kids will have Stories, the Notification bell and Community tab unavailable as well.


YouTube acknowledges that, while their platform is not intended for individuals under the age of 13, young children can access certain content via device sharing, which is common. Lauren and the rest of the company suggest children continue to use the YouTube Kids app and platform to consume content aimed at them.

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