YouTube has published new comments on the changes that it will make to the platform from January 1st 2020, as a result of the settlement it agreed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) violations.
However, its comments have been met with mass pushback and many are blaming YouTube for creating the situation which has left many creators uncertain over whether the platform will still be viable for them in 2020.
In its post, YouTube repeats many of the concerns raised by creators since the upcoming COPPA changes were announced and asks the FTC to:
- Provide balanced and clear guidelines for creators
- Allow platforms to “treat adults as adults if there are measures in place to confirm the user is an adult viewing kids content” (the FTC’s current guidance requires platforms to treat anyone watching child-directed content as a child who is under 13)
- Provide clarity on what “made for kids content” is
YouTube has also asked creators to submit their comments to the FTC before the comment period closes on Wednesday, December 11.
Many Twitter users are not impressed with the response. “This is 100% your fault,” said one Twitter user.
Ya do realize we wouldn't be in this situation if you just didn't collect kid's data, right?
— Seph (@ThatSephence) December 9, 2019
Another Twitter user voiced their frustrations with YouTube’s lack of solutions for creators: “Why aren’t you sitting down with the FTC to work out solutions then?”
Why aren't you sitting down with the FTC to work out solutions then? You sold creators out when requiring users to log in/agree to data mining would solve the bulk of this issue. The FTC claims they have no idea why you aren't putting something in place for mixed-audience videos!
— The Fangirl (@The_Fanily) December 9, 2019
Others said the problem could be solved if YouTube was more vigilant about kicking kids off of YouTube and ensuring that they use the YouTube Kids app which doesn’t collect data and is COPPA compliant.
How about kick kids off yourube and send them to youtube kids
— STAY HOME (@BrennenTaylor) December 9, 2019
Well uh all I can say is Kids shouldn't be on YouTube…. at all
— BruhItzPotion21🇮🇪 (@MCPotion21) December 9, 2019
The pushback comes as frustrations over YouTube’s pending COPPA changes have been rising for months in the creator community.
One of the most popular solutions proposed by creators is to enforce compliance at the viewer level instead of at the content level. This would mean channel access could be blocked or data collection could be disabled for all viewers that are under 13 instead of the current proposal which is to determine whether content is “made for kids” on a video-by-video basis.
Users are also frustrated that the current COPPA settlement puts a huge amount of liability on creators. Not only is it predicted to cut some creator ad revenue by up to 90% but creators could be fined up to $42,000 per video if the FTC determines that they haven’t labeled their videos correctly.