A new version of the YouTube Kids app will become available in the next few weeks, which allows parents to choose appropriate content…
YouTube launched its kid-friendly app three years ago. Since that time, the platform has repeatedly come under fire for surfacing less than ideal videos. These include tortured cartoon characters, conspiracy theories, and other disturbing content. Now, several new outlets are reporting there’s a new version in the works.
YouTube Kids App Algorithm-Free Version Coming Soon
The soon-to-come YouTube Kids app will let parents choose between videos they pick or to rely on the algorithm. It’s a different approach to how videos are curated on the platform. While algorithms are far more efficient in generating lengthly playlists, these signals simply can’t distinguish and parse content in a way humans readily can.
The move comes amidst a complaint filed to the Federal Trade Commission involving over twenty advocacy, consumer, and privacy groups. It alleges Google’s video network violates U.S. child protection laws because it collects personal data on users under the age of thirteen.
“Google has acted duplicitously by falsely claiming in its terms of service that YouTube is only for those who are age 13 or older, while it deliberately lured young people into an ad-filled digital playground. Just like Facebook, Google has focused its huge resources on generating profits instead of protecting privacy,” Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy, explains to CNBC.
However, a YouTube spokesperson wrote in an email, “We will read the complaint thoroughly and evaluate if there are things we can do to improve. Because YouTube is not for children, we’ve invested significantly in the creation of the YouTube Kids app to offer an alternative, specifically designed for children.”