MPs say YouTube feeds inappropriate content to children’s ‘steam litter, consumerist content’

A House subcommittee is investigating YouTube kids, saying the Google-owned video service “steamy, consumerist content” feeds kids inappropriate content so it can serve their ads. The investigation began in 2012 after Google agreed to pay million 1 million to settle allegations of child data collection without their parents’ consent.

In a letter to YouTube CEO Susan Wazchia on Tuesday, U.S. The House Monitoring and Reform Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy reports that YouTube is not doing enough to protect children from content that could harm them. Illinois Democrat King Krishnamurthy, chairman of the committee, said in a letter that instead it depends on artificial intelligence and the self-control of the producers on which video platform to create the video.

And despite the settlement change in 2012, YouTube kids still show ads on children’s letter notes. But instead of basing it on kids’ online activities, they target it based on the videos they’re watching now.

YouTube said it wants to provide protection and control that enables children and families to view age-appropriate content. It also stressed that the 2019 deal was regularly at the top of the YouTube platform, not the kids version.

“Based on the policies that have been established with experts and parents, we have made significant investments in the YouTube Kids app to provide more educational and enriching content for kids.”

Schools have closed after a congressional investigation into a year-long pandemic, and parents have stopped working from home using services such as the growing YouTube to keep kids in their possession. While it amended the “screen time” rules and could be to blame for how much time children spend on screen, some experts suggested that parents focus on quality, not quantity.

But lawmakers say YouTube kids are nothing more than quality

“YouTube does not spend any time or effort determining the appropriateness of the content before it becomes available for children to watch,” the letter said. “YouTube allows children’s content creators to self-control. YouTube simply requests that they consider whether videos in video content emphasize children’s characters, themes, toys, or games.”

Children under the age of 13 are protected by a 1998 federal law requiring parental consent before agencies collect and share their personal information.

Under the 2019 settlement, Google has agreed with video makers to create content aimed at kids. It states that when they watch such videos, users will restrict data collection regardless of their age.

However, lawmakers say that even after the settlement was introduced in 2015, YouTube continues to exploit child traffickers and promote child advertising. While the original YouTube service did not target ads based on audience interest, it did track what children were watching to present the video. It also collects information on personally identifiable devices.

Also, ads are reaching kids in other ways. The “high volume” of children’s videos, the letter said, was “influential children,” who were often trafficked undercover by children to keep their own products.

“YouTube is not trying to stop this kind of problematic marketing,” the letter said. The House research team discovered that only 4% of videos have “high educational standards” for providing high quality content.

The kids app has helped Google and its corporate parents in Mountain View, California, to sell the most attractive ads in the alphabet, making YouTube an increasingly attractive outlet.

YouTube generated nearly 20 20 billion in ad revenue last year, more than double its total three years ago. Video sites now account for 13% of Google’s total ad sales, up slightly from 8% in 2017.

The House subcommittee recommends that YouTube be able to completely block ads for kids younger or older (able to set timers).

Lawmakers are urging YouTube to provide top videos, channels and earnings information, as well as the number of videos viewed by YouTube kids as users, including average time spent and other information.

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