Star Wars YouTube channel has comments disabled under new COPPA “made for kids” rules

Big brands like Star Wars may be able to weather the COPPA storm, but smaller YouTubers won't be so lucky.

A little controversy usually goes a long way in promoting a movie, or really, anything on the internet, so considering the furious debates around the latest Star Wars installment – The Rise of Skywalker – it seems like the movie should be doing better at the box office.

Not all those who have seen the film love it, nor are all fans of the franchise happy about where things are heading, generally speaking. As for expressing that opinion online, say, on a platform like YouTube? That is not as straight-forward as you might expect, because the Star Wars channel has suddenly turned off comments on their most recent YouTube videos by either Disney or Star Wars marking their videos as “made for kids” under the new COPPA rules.

Content that is determined to be “made for kids” suffers a steep loss in revenue – up to 90%, as well as disabled comments on the videos – causing engagement to tank. There's also the disabling of the ability for subscribers to get notified when a new video is out – something that kills engagement even further.

It's not yet known whether YouTube's algorithm or Disney themselves have deemed the videos as “made for kids” but still – Disney could afford to mislabel videos as “made for kids” and lose that YouTube income because that's easier than trying to figure out how to comply with the platform's minefield that is COPPA. For smaller creators, however, doing the same would be luxury they can't afford.

Didi Rankovic

Didi Rankovic is an experienced online journalist, editor, and translator, with a career spanning over ten years writing for major a English-language website in Serbia, and previously working as translator for international organizations and peacekeepers in the Balkans. Rankovic is passionate about free and open source tech and is a head contributor for Reclaim The Net, focusing on lead stories. [email protected]