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Stop COPPA and the FTC from ruining youtube



I think the idea that something is “for kids” is that it’s reasonable for children under 13 to view.

A lot of games feature plenty of violence, bad language, and other mature themes and content. I would be uncomfortable marking anything as “for kids” that might then be interpreted as not actually safe for children.

That’s the problem I guess…


Just about 30 pages of legalese BS to go through.

And youtube themselves are not particularly helpful either

Determining if your content is made for kids

Regardless of your location, we require you to tell us whether or not your videos are made for kids. We are making these changes according to an agreement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and to help you comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and/or other applicable laws. Failure to set your content appropriately may result in consequences on YouTube or have legal consequences under COPPA and other laws.

We provide some guidance on what is considered “made for kids” below, but we cannot provide legal advice. If you are unsure whether your videos meet this standard, we suggest you seek legal counsel.

According to the FTC’s guidance on COPPA, a video is child directed (which we call “made for kids”) if:

Children are the primary audience based on the factors described below. 
Children are not the primary audience, but the video is still directed to children based on the factors below.

When deciding whether or not your channel or video is made for kids, you should consider various factors, including:

Subject matter of the video (e.g. educational content for preschoolers).
Whether children are your intended or actual audience for the video.
Whether the video includes child actors or models.
Whether the video includes characters, celebrities, or toys that appeal to children, including animated characters or cartoon figures.
Whether the language of the video is intended for children to understand.
Whether the video includes activities that appeal to children, such as play-acting, simple songs or games, or early education.
Whether the video includes songs, stories, or poems for children.
Any other information you may have to help determine your video’s audience, like empirical evidence of the video’s audience.

Note: YouTube Analytics (YTA) is not designed to help determine if your content is child directed. You should use the factors outlined by the FTC above to set your audience.

How old is a kid? The age of a “kid” in the United States is defined as anyone under the age of 13. However, the age of a kid may be higher in other countries, so consider the factors described above as appropriate given how kid is defined in applicable laws in your country, and consult legal counsel if you have additional questions.
What if my content is applicable to a wide audience, but not kids specifically?
As the creator, you know your content best. If you intended to reach a kid audience, it’s likely that your video is made for kids. If you’re not sure about your audience, take a look at the features of your video - does it have actors, characters, activities, games, songs, or stories that kids are particularly attracted to? If so, your video may be directed to kids. The key is to balance all the COPPA specified factors that apply to this analysis. For example, the fact that a kid is featured in a video does not necessarily mean that the video is made for kids. You will have to look at all other attributes of the video like the intended audience, whether the video uses language that is intended for kids to understand, and the subject matter of the video (a medical video versus a play video). For further information on whether content is kid-directed, see the FTC’s guidance. You should also consider consulting a lawyer if you aren’t sure whether your content should be designated as made for kids.
In addition, creators outside of the United States will need to take into consideration additional obligations they may have under applicable laws when evaluating whether content is made for kids. Note, while the age of a kid in the United States is defined as anyone under the age of 13, the age of a kid is defined differently in different countries so consider the factors described above as appropriate given how “kid” is defined in relevant laws, and consult legal counsel if you have additional questions.
Note: As a creator, you know your videos and your audience best, and it is your legal responsibility to comply with COPPA and/or other applicable laws and designate your content accurately. If you fail to categorize your content correctly, there may be consequences on YouTube. Additionally, there may be legal consequences under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) or other applicable local laws.

I don’t really have a “channel” I have a youtube account with a handful of Dirt Rally and Nepenthe videos. The latter I never linked publicly but are all colourful, features animation and videogames. I wonder if the FTC will try to sue me for those. Then I have a growing selection of Dirt Rally runs that also remains unlisted but I have linked them here at least. Still videogames and I don’t know if they will consider the audience as “animated characters” or not.

Neither of these were “made for kids” but from what I can tell your intent doesn’t seem to matter.


I might just stop making videos… it was a fun hobby that’s been good for a year and a half, I am okay shutting it down and switching to just playing and reviewing by words and pictures.

Another possible solution:

Record a running commentary line of obscenities and append it to every single video at the start, say 30 seconds or so?


I think they call that an intro. But seriously, the FTC says they have tools to “police”. Considering how shitty Google’s own algorithms are, how is a Government Tool going to work at correctly flagging them?


Didn’t the US government JUST stop using 8 inch floppies??? Naw, they will do fine /sarcasm


The US military based on the article I posted, yeah.

Submitted my comment.

I have to wonder if you tag every video as “18+” if they’ll still nab you since, on youtube at least, it states that it is intended for mature audiences.


Youtube does give users the ability to hide the channel, which I assume makes all of your videos private or unlisted maybe.

I might end up hiding my channel and depending on how things go, bring it back or delete it later. Again, it’s nice having a regular salary that this doesn’t matter in the long run.

What’s really mind blowing is thinking about a game like Yakuza 0, that I have been recently playing. The game contains a million and one mini games, some of them having plenty of simple potentially kid friendly mini game content, but the game itself is by far children friendly…

I was just giggling to myself thinking about renaming the game Japanese Mafia 0, and subsequently, Japanese Mafia Kiwami, etc… Otherwise those folks at the FTC who look might not get what yakuza meant and look at a video and comment about its kid-friendliness based on a mini game auto Youtube icon…


I recommend this video as well

Edit: I know that Mr Enter hasn’t got the best reputation but for issues like this he’s surprisingly great. I also recommend his Technocracy series


i watched the video and didn’t like it/the guy because of some partial bullshit
it took me less than a minute to find other articles than the verge, dating before the verge, mentioning the same 42.000$ figure (not that it means it’s true since none source the figure)
he says he don’t know where chadtronic had the FTC video cuts from when he says and it’s linked in the video description. And it’s over 40 minutes long, so i understand the jumpcuts. Not that it doesn’t (potentially intentionally) make it/change it to highlight his specific narrative, can’t say, i’m not gonna watch 47mins of FTC conference to confirm. (and overall his complaints about the jumpcuts seem slightly pedantic in today’s media use)
and most importantly, people aren’t protesting coppa or childrens protection, but the FTC’s implementation and extremely vague "rule"set and planned revision that potentially has the impact of making it even more sensitive/broader defined than how massively vague it already is.

I get he want’s to downplay it a bit, and to do so to calm some hysteria, which could be good. But it comes off “wrong” like the method doesn’t fit the goal or situation at all.
If all others suggestions are just partially true, it’s bad for creators, this alone is worth the attention. People aren’t trying to disassemble coppa, but since they only have until dec 9th, they are trying to be heard and create awareness to help get it better, and more reasonable, defined than how the FTC rules/guidelines is currently laid out, that they got direct from the FTC . Which i can understand if this was my livelihood. (the way i understand it)

While this might be different/“worse” than the FCC net-neutrality, it doesn’t deserve less “hysteria” since the focal point is much smaller and specific: YouTube Creators directly. Which would potentially change things a lot for creators, and viewers that watch videos/won’t have their content to watch.
The revenue cut alone is already a hard pill enough for some to overcome. With people mentioning they can’t sustain a YT career/content creation, as they used to, on the new adrevenue if they get hit with "content for kids"claim, that’s before potential fines/liability alone.
So i see more wrong in trying to downplay this like so/"wait and see"attitude, than highlighting the “shooting fish in a barrel”/we will sue narrative

anyway, that’s my take from it :man_shrugging:
Buuut i’m also a doom and gloom kinda guy, so i probably prefer panic stage 11 with everyone else also sharing my armageddon bunker prepping :blush:


That’s fine. At least you explained it clearly.
Save us some space


I left my comment as well, I took a screenshot of it too, just in case anyone felt like reading it:


Here’s the other side of the story:

I guess it’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Maybe I will keep making videos, but not hold back on my language, as I have done up to this point. If Wanderbots is correct about it, then at least maybe game videos might not have any effect. I also don’t have directed advertisements and I don’t plan to monetize anything right now, so maybe it won’t affect me. I have some copyright claims on some of my videos, presumably for audio content in the videos, and I have ignored those, those have ads and the persons/companies that have placed those copyright claims on them have ad revenue, so I can just go and hide those handful of videos.

I can just keep making content, take away the music, keep sound effects, and just try my best to keep talking like I normally do.

This video has made me feel a bit better about this whole situation.


From my understanding, the definitions are broad enough that games could be included. And that’s the problem, the definitions are extremely broad.

I watched the first four minutes. It sounded like he said FCC not FTC (FTC are the ones who made the rule). I feel like he’s glazing over the heart of the issue and just dismissing it completely because “I’m not affected” (yet). Maybe he explains better further on, but I already got a bad vibe and don’t really wish to watch the rest.


Yeah, I noticed that he said FCC as well, it’s okay, I am just saying there are people who are on the other side of the coin as well.

I do think that a lot of content is too vague and thus it can be argued for or against one way or another.

I am still going to keep recording videos for now, and see what ultimately happens. I will just keep my videos as “Not For Kids.”


I only watched a few minutes of a few of these since it really doesn’t affect me.


What if I told you the people that are trying to change this may be trying to literally keep their job?

What if I told you that this is about getting fucked by the FTC, not Youtube? The FTC has stated they will go after the content creators, NOT YOUTUBE.

What if I asked you to name one other video hosting website? The first one I can think of is Pornhub.

How much money do you sincerely think it takes to run a video hosting site? I honestly don’t know, but I do know that server equipment costs in the thousands and the network needed to fully accomplish such a thing is flipping huge. Even with as large as youtube and Alphabet is, I believe Youtube is actually a net loss.

This is about the FTC modifying the COPPA rule (it is already a rule in place, they are just updating it.) it is entirely the FTC’s rule, not youtube’s. Youtube is required to comply. What is stopping the FTC from applying this to just about every other service if and when they exist?

I feel like this may be an issue with people not understanding that the problems lives within the fact the new rules are vague to the point of covering just about fucking everything. This isn’t about Youtube itself, this is about protecting those that use youtube to bring YOU quality content and the FTC’s rule that could hit them with up to $42,000 PER VIDEO. For something you may be more aware about, that is more than the average student loan debt in America. That is also approximately the same amount as a freaking hospital bill for something minor. Imagine getting getting 3 or 4 hospital bills because you legitimately do not know if your content constitutes as “primarily directed towards children” because you can’t interpret the law since it’s vague.

To understand the creator side. Imagine if you got told you were going to lose up to 90% of what you make at your job because of a new proposed rule. Would you be upset?

They issued a blog post about it. Here’s their response:

In text


Under COPPA, there is no one-size-fits-all answer about what makes a site directed to children, but we can offer some guidance. To be clear, your content isn’t considered “directed to children” just because some children may see it. However, if your intended audience is kids under 13, you’re covered by COPPA and have to honor the Rule’s requirements.

The Rule sets out additional factors the FTC will consider in determining whether your content is child-directed:

the subject matter,

visual content,

the use of animated characters or child-oriented activities and incentives,

the kind of music or other audio content,

the age of models,

the presence of child celebrities or celebrities who appeal to children,

language or other characteristics of the site,

whether advertising that promotes or appears on the site is directed to children, and
competent and reliable empirical evidence about the age of the audience.

The determination of whether content is child-directed will be clearer in some contexts than in others, but we can share some general rules of thumb. First, unless you’re affirmatively targeting kids, there are many subject matter categories where you don’t have to worry about COPPA. For example, if your videos are about traditionally adult activities like employment, finances, politics, home ownership, home improvement, or travel, you’re probably not covered unless your content is geared toward kids. The same would be true for videos aimed at high school or college students. On the other hand, if your content includes traditional children’s pastimes or activities, it may be child-directed. For example, the FTC recently determined that an online dress-up game was child-directed.

Second, just because your video has bright colors or animated characters doesn’t mean you’re automatically covered by COPPA. While many animated shows are directed to kids, the FTC recognizes there can be animated programming that appeals to everyone.

Third, the complaint in the YouTube case offers some examples of channels the FTC considered to be directed to children. For example, many content creators explicitly stated in the “About” section of their YouTube channel that their intended audience was children under 13. Other channels made similar statements in communications with YouTube. In addition, many of the channels featured popular animated children’s programs or showed kids playing with toys or participating in other child-oriented activities. Some of the channel owners also enabled settings that made their content appear when users searched for the names of popular toys or animated characters. Want to see the FTC’s analysis in context? Read pages 10-14 of the YouTube complaint.

Finally, if you’ve applied the factors listed in the COPPA Rule and still wonder if your content is “directed to children,” it might help to consider how others view your content and content similar to yours. Has your channel been reviewed on sites that evaluate content for kids? Is your channel – or channels like yours – mentioned in blogs for parents of young children or in media articles about child-directed content? Have you surveyed your users or is there other empirical evidence about the age of your audience?

It’s still vague in my opinion. I understand they want to make it flexible, but this is also very open ended.


Oh my. I read this. Does anyone see the funny irony in this? Youtube has been banning all sorts of adult/mature/real content saying it wasn’t advertisement friendly. Now this is to stop content that is child/young/unreal saying advertisements should not target children.

COPPA - Too childish! >>>Youtube safe zone (news corporations)<<< Adpocalypse - Too mature!

puts on conspiracy hat

Google just wants youtube to die and become a news outlet for corporations. “YouNews?” Or “NewsTube?”

takes off conspiracy hat

Thankfully, writing to the government WILL have them react. It’s not a private business like youtube where they can ignore you and nothing gets done.

Good luck!


Pretty sure FCC pulled that stunt. Just in a more roundabout way involving bots, fraud, and ISPs.


I’ll try to get back to you later today about this.


No internet get back to you tomorrow