According to a new Washington Post report, the continuing issues YouTube is facing concerning material involving kids have resulted in an investigation by the federal government.
According to the Post, the Federal Trade Commission is expected to investigate the data collection methods of YouTube and inability to safeguard kids. It is revealed that the investigation is in its early phases and was carried out following requests from consumer organizations and advocates for privacy. The inquiry also follows countless accounts and research from newspapers over the past several months showing how the autoplay and suggestion function of YouTube enables predators to take benefit of the material on the children.
Policymakers have begun to react to the inquiry. In a press release published today, Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) called the inquiry “into YouTube’s treatment of children online overdue,” stating that “the company still has to take the required measures to safeguard its youngest users.”
Both executives from YouTube and Google, including CEOs Susan Wojcicki and Sundar Pichai, have intensified their efforts to find a solution to the increasing problem. The company chose to close comments on most of the videos that starred kids in February as a manner to avoid spreading predatory remarks. Minors were also banned from live streaming without an adult being present.
The content with kids on the site is pervasive, presenting daunting issues of moderation. Children are often integrated into family vlogging, a fast-growing industry; they feature unboxing toys or playing with buddies on their own channels; many even partner with famous vloggers — top designer Jake Paul often collaborates for his videos with a four-year-old named Tydus.
YouTube would find it hard to extract and move all images with kids to YouTube Kids without influencing the larger creator society. While protecting children is a top concern for the business, the business has always regarded dealing with creator reactions as well.