YouTube has failed parents with the YouTube Kids app. Maybe this will work.
Parents, before you toss your young child an iPad or smartphone to watch videos in the YouTube Kids app, you better make sure they’re seeing something appropriate for their age. Google has struggled for years with keeping YouTube Kids clean and appropriate for kids 2-12 but it’s been a challenge.
Since the app was released parents have blocked and flagged thousands of videos for being ‘fake’ copies of their kids’ favorite cartoon characters.
Mixed in with legitimate videos of popular kids character Peppa Pig were homemade videos of Peppa throwing up, screaming at the dentist office and even chasing his father around the room with a handgun. Other so-called fake videos could easily be found of Disney princesses drinking from the toilet or drinking bleach and videos of Spiderman doing things I’d rather not mention here.
Google enforced stricter algorithms designed to filter out fake videos from appearing in YouTube Kids but the algorithms were often fooled. Then Google hired more human beings to curate the content by actually watching and approving videos to appear in the Kids app. Still, some parents found disturbing videos were making it into the app and were viewable because they were not caught by the human curators.
Google announced late Wednesday it will give parents more control over the videos appearing in their account and on their device, by limiting the videos displayed to those reviewed by human being employees.
Setting up the account for each child will give parents the option of setting limits to what videos can be displayed and played. Parents will also be able to restrict viewing by channels they approve themselves. Google hopes this is another step in the right direction of making YouTube Kids a safe-space for the 11 million children who watch videos in the app every week.