YouTube Will Demonetize Low-quality Content Made for Children to Keep Platform Fun, Healthy

Photo: (Photo : KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

YouTube is taking a new approach for content creators who make videos aimed at children by announcing that low-quality content will be demonetized or removed on their platform in a bid to protect its young audience.

In particular, YouTube said it would set the highest standard for those who upload videos on their YouTube Kids channels, a separate section on the platform.

James Beser, the Director of Product Management, Kids and Family, detailed the company's plans in an official blog post. He emphasized that they will zero in on directly removing children's contents that are largely inappropriate or mostly promotional in nature. They will also thumb down on contents that use popular and beloved characters in questionable ways or promote bad behavior in young and impressionable minds.

Some YouTube Kids' content that does not violate specific guidelines but is still low-quality will not be removed. However, the creators will find that they can no longer make money off their streams.

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Beser said that uploaders with YouTube Kids accounts would receive a notification if they need to fix their content to comply with the standards before the new policy is implemented.

"Our ultimate goal is to foster a safe and enriching environment for families while rewarding trusted creators who are making high-quality kids and family content," Beser wrote.

Realignment of YouTube Kids

The majority of YouTube Kids' content is centered on unboxing or showing toys and collections. Over the years, this has created a culture of consumerism that the company hopes to reduce. Per The Verge, one of the channels that could likely be demonetized is 10-year-old user Ryan Kaji, who has over 30 million followers on "Ryan's World."

Instead, the video-sharing platform said it would highlight videos that "inspire curiosity and imagination" in the children or celebrate the diversity of opinions among its users. They also want more content that will encourage the children to discover their passion, so there will be better content creators from across the globe who will make YouTube Kids an enriching space on the internet.

In line with the changes, YouTube Kids is also realigning its platform into sub-channels that will be age-specific. Users will soon see categories like "Explore" or "Most of YouTube" to help parents determine the kind of videos they want their children to access. With "supervised experiences," parents have control of their children's YouTube viewing, including restricting content that may be too mature.

No Comparison to Facebook

The new policy comes on the heels of YouTube's confirmation during a Senate hearing that they removed 1.8 million videos or inappropriate content for the second quarter of the year. Leslie Miller, YouTube's Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy, also said that they had removed about seven million accounts that belong to children.

According to Business World, YouTube, Snapchat, and TikTok are trying not to raise comparisons with Facebook, which has been in a firestorm with the Senate for its plans to launch a platform for younger children. The panel of the Senate Commerce Committee under consumer protection has been evaluating the protections and policies that these social media platforms have established as efforts to regulate social media are in the works at the Capitol.

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