In January 2020, YouTube will start treating all content directed at children as though it’s being watched by a child, removing targeted ads and leading to a drop in ad revenue for that particular video. As part of a lengthy $170 million settlement between the FTC and YouTube, required changes to the platform and details were worked out on how advertising on YouTube will work moving forward. YouTube was dispensed for having violations of kids’ data privacy law COPPA. The FTC’s investigation was sparked by complaints from advocacy organizations such as Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, the Center for Digital Democracy, and the Electronic Privacy Information Center. Those organizations were concerned that YouTube was collecting personal data from users under 13. Collecting data for someone under 13 in the United States, is barred by COPPA.
Now that there is a settlement, YouTube is trying to “help creators comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and other applicable laws.” Creators on Youtube will be required to mark their content Made for Kids or not. In addition to this, Youtube will use machine learning systems to help find content “that is clearly made or kids.” Because brickfilms basically have toys as a centerpiece, expect the YouTube machine learning systems to change much of your content to made for kids.
What’s considered kids content or not?
The guidelines the FTC has released so far are pretty vague. According to the Important update for All Creators” Complying with COPPA video from YouTube, the factors to consider are:
If children are the intended audience
If it includes child actors or models
If it includes characters celebrities or toys that appeal to children
If it uses language that is meant for children to understand
If it includes activities that appeal to children
If it includes songs, stories or poems that appeal to children
The YouTube Important update for All Creators” Complying with COPPA video goes on to blame all the feature restrictions on the need to follow the COPPA law. It also said YouTube can not give legal advice and can not confirm whether on not your content is made for kids and to “talk to a lawyer if you think your content is made for kids or not.”
How old is a kid?
Under U.S. law, it is anyone under the age of 13, but age of a child may be higher in other countries.
Videos that you mark as “Made for Kids” will be treated differently. Some features like comments will no longer be available. Made for Kids content will also not show personalized ads. Info cards and end screens might also be restricted. Channels set for Made for Kids will not have Stories, Community tab, Notification bell, and viewer ability to save to Watch later or Save to playlist. If YouTube changes your audience settings to Made for Kids, you have the option of appealing by using the “Send feedback” button. You can find this in the YouTube video details tab in YouTube Studio.
Videos marked incorrectly may result in compliance issues for you under COPPA or other laws. If YouTube finds that you are abusing the system and intentionally marking your videos incorrectly, it may result in consequences for your YouTube channel or videos.
Is marking a brickfilm NOT Made for Kids considered "intentionally marking your video incorrectly"? I don't know.
Below are a few links that might provide answers. Lawyer skills may be required.
There is a FTC website page for frequently asked questions.
Check out these YouTube Help articles for more information:
Set your audience: https://support.google.com/youtube/an...
Determining if your content is "Made for Kids": https://support.google.com/youtube/an...
David Pickett, esteemed BFG member and co-author of the LEGO Animation Book, made a video with his thoughts about YouTube, the the COPPA law, and how it will affect LEGO.
The Brickfilming News and Events blog is written by Dave Smith (Big Monkey) of thefourmonkeys.
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