YouTube asks FTC for clarity on rules around labelling children’s content

Creators are also sending letters to the FTC for more clarity as the new rules could severely affect them

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YouTube wants more guidelines and clarity on the new rules surrounding labelling children’s content that are rolling out soon.

“Many creators have expressed concern about the complexity of COPPA [the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act in the U.S.],” YouTube wrote to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. “We believe there needs to be more clarity when content should be considered primarily child-related.”

Earlier this year, the video-streaming platform was slapped with a $170 million USD (about $224 million CAD) fine from the FTC for alleged violations against the COPPA.

At the time, the FTC also had YouTube create improved guidelines for creators that focus on children’s content to better label their videos. If the video is found to be “child-directed,” then the creator will not be able to run ads that target users. Creators are still able to place “contextual” ads based on the content of the video.

The Verge reported that creators are also writing to the FTC, indicating that the vague guidelines could “destroy their channels.”

“It is my dream for my channel to soar…but your law could make this dream impossible,” one person wrote to the FTC.

Currently, the FTC hasn’t really been explicit in terms of what children’s content is defined as.

In the past, it said: “There is no one-size-fits-all answer about what makes a site directed to children.” The FTC said that if the video has music, language, or the subject matter is child-related, then it could violate COPPA.

Creators can face up to $40,000 in fines if they are caught violating this law.

YouTube furthered in its filing to the FTC with the following:

“This does not match what we see on YouTube, where adults watch [favourite] cartoons from their childhood or teachers look for content to share with their students.”

“Sometimes, content that isn’t intentionally targeting kids can involve a traditional kids activity, such as DIY, gaming and art videos. Are these videos ‘made for kids,’ even if they don’t intend to target kids? This lack of clarity creates uncertainty for creators.”

Source: The Verge