YouTube Expands Safety Features for Kids

Today, YouTube introduced additional protections for users under 18 years old on YouTube and YouTube Kids.

The big update will involve privacy settings for minors.YouTube will gradually start adjusting the default upload setting to the most private option for users between 13-17 years old. With that setting, the content uploaded can only been seen by the user and the audience they choose. The setting can be changed to make content public, but YouTube will send reminders about who can see the videos.

YouTube will also be adjusting its autoplay feature for users under 18. The autoplay option will be turned off by default in the YouTube app and an autoplay feature will be added on YouTube Kids. Parents will be able to go into the parental controls to lock the autoplay default setting they want, giving parents more freedom to decide how the family watches or listens to content.

To address the commercial content on YouTube Kids, YouTube is taking another look at content on the platform to remove “overly commercial content” that encourages kids to spend money. In addition, kids’ content with paid promotions will now include an easy to read disclosure and a link with additional information including an animal explainer video for kids and a guide for parents.

Google has been working to improve its kids’ experience since the company paid $170 million in a settlement over violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act in 2019. The judgement included a requirement for YouTube to notify channel owners of the COPPA rule, create a system for creators to mark their content as targeted to kids, and YouTube to ensure COPPA compliance.