Following multiple complaints about the content published on the YouTube Kids app, the company has decided to give parents better control over what their children view.
YouTube has decided three years after the release of their YouTube Kids app to give parents more control over what their children view on the app following complaints that not all videos on the site were suitable for children, Variety reports. The YouTube Kids app will reportedly be adding a “white-list” feature and a “parent-approved content” setting which means that parents will be able to select every single video and channel that their children can view within the app.
YouTube also plans to work with their “trusted partners” to create pre-screened and approved children’s playlists to be featured on the app, these will begin appearing on the app over the next few weeks starting with a selection of content from Sesame Workshop and PBS Kids. YouTube will also be adding a feature that allows parents to set the app to limit search results to only show videos which have been “verified by the YouTube Kids team.”
James Beser, product director for YouTube Kids, discussed the new settings saying: “While no system is perfect, we continue to fine-tune, rigorously test and improve our filters for this more open version of our app.” This change in the YouTube Kids app seems to be in response to a number of odd videos that started appearing in the app a short while ago, including conspiracy theory videos about UFO’s and reptilian people.
“Search for ‘UFO’ on YouTube Kids and you’ll mostly find videos of toys that are clearly fine for children to watch. But one of the top videos claimed to show a UFO shooting at a chemtrail, and we found several videos by prominent conspiracy theorist David Icke in the suggested videos,” Business Insider reported in March. “One suggested video was an hours-long lecture by Icke in which he claims that aliens built the pyramids, that the planet is run by reptile-human hybrids, that Freemasons engage in human sacrifice, that the assassination of President Kennedy was planned by the US government, and that humans would evolve in 2012.”
Google stated last Fall that the YouTube Kids app generated more than 70 billion views so far and boasts approximately 11 million weekly active viewers.