YouTube Kids was "This Close" to Becoming a Completely Micromanaged Platform!

YouTube has surely undergone some interesting changes over the course of 2019. According to Bloomberg, an interesting idea was under consideration concerning YouTube Kids i.e. it would be manually curated for all videos on the platform.

Shortly after FTC handed YouTube a hefty fine, the company began forcing creators to make a decision regarding whether their content caters to kids or not. This decision would in turn play a role in determining what kinds of ads would appear on such creators’ content.

Such a move could have a lasting impact on the revenue. It’s worth noting that creators are fortunate enough to decide the nature of their content as well as their target audience because not too long ago, the company was considering having a more commanding role over kids’ content.

As per Bloomberg, a project titled “Crosswalk - a way to guide kids across YouTube’s chaotic streets” was initiated earlier this year for specifically choosing the content that would go live on YouTube Kids. Under the project’s guidelines, every video geared towards an audience younger than 8 would be screened by YouTube and the company would also decide whether the video should be allowed on the platform dedicated to kids or not.


It should be noted that the above-mentioned project was being considered so strongly that a relevant press release was drafted. In it, Susan Wojcicki stated that professional moderators would screen every piece of content for YouTube Kids. The project didn’t come to fruition and was pulled at the eleventh hour.

The expected reason behind the cancellation of this project is that it would have gone against YouTube’s claims of being a neutral platform. A completely manually curated platform sounds more like the work of a media company. Interestingly, a YouTube spokesperson denied such claims but didn’t offer any comments either.

Even though “Crosswalk” didn’t face the light of the day, it should be clarified that YouTube Kids already has a number of options for manually curated content. Moreover, an option was rolled out for the app last year which enables parents to curate the app’s content or deem certain channels good to go for their children.


Photo: Thomas Trutschel via Getty Images

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