The video streaming giant YouTube has announced that minors are now prohibited from live streaming on its platform unless clearly accompanied by an adult. The decision comes after reports that YouTube’s recommendation engine was serving up family videos to pedophiles.
YouTube announced that its live streaming policy was changing in a blog post where it said:
“Restricting live features: We updated enforcement of our live streaming policy to specifically disallow younger minors from live streaming unless they are clearly accompanied by an adult. Channels not in compliance with this policy may lose their ability to live stream. We also launched new classifiers (machine learning tools that help us identify specific types of content) on our live products to find and remove more of this content.”
In addition to restricting live streaming capabilities for minors, YouTube also said it has reduced the recommendations of videos featuring minors that could be at risk of exploitation and that these changes have been applied to tens of millions of videos already.
YouTube’s decision appears to be a response to an article in The New York Times titled “On YouTube’s Digital Playground, an Open Gate for Pedophiles” which highlighted that YouTube was recommending videos featuring children to pedophiles.
This is the third time this year that YouTube has announced a major change which will impact channels featuring kids. Earlier this year, it started demonetizing videos featuring minors if viewers left inappropriate comments and then mass disabled comments on videos that featured kids.