YouTube Kids Gets More Parental Restrictions, Channels Curated by Humans and More
YouTube Kids is precisely what the name suggests; a kid-friendly version of YouTube. Its sole purpose is to keep kids away from the weird parts of YouTube (admit it, we’ve all been there). In the past, the safeguards put in place by Google failed spectacularly, which left many parents fuming. This week, YouTube Kids is adding video collections from “trusted partners” and the YouTube Kids team. These groupings feature channels handpicked by human curators and not algorithms. To access the list of curators, head over to Profile Settings, and select from available collections such as Sesame Workshop and PBS KIDS. YouTube will continue to add more partners over time. The official YouTube blog states:
Starting this week, our partners and the YouTube Kids team will offer collections of trusted channels on a variety of subjects from arts & crafts and music to sports, learning, and so much more. This makes it easy for parents to select only the channel collections and topics they want their kids to access.
Additionally, parents will now get even more control of what their kids watch, down to specific channels and videos. It looks like Google did think of the children this time.
Parents know better than anyone what they want their children to watch. For those parents who want even more control over the videos and channels in the YouTube Kids app, we’re rolling out a feature later this year that will allow parents to specifically handpick every video and channel available to their child in the app.
Lastly, kids will only see recommendations from curated channels and not the open internet. The step is aimed at preventing kids from accidentally stumbling upon something nasty when they were busy watching their favourite cartoon. The current version of the app is still available for those who want to use it, and YouTube promises to “to fine-tune, rigorously test and improve our filters for this more open version of our app.”
No system is perfect, and even with the new guidelines in place, there is still a faint possibility of a kid accidentally stumbling upon an inappropriate video. Will this update get the Elsagate crowd to shut up? We can’t say.