There could be a significant change coming to YouTube, as a Bloomberg (paywall) report suggests that the platform is readying to end targeted ads aimed at children from being uploaded.
This could be a move made in order to comply with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has been looking into YouTube for the way it collects data from younger viewers and how it protects said users on its platform under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
As The Washington Post reports, the FTC and Google reached a settlement regarding privacy violations for children in July, but the precise nature of the settlement and exact fine the firm incurred remain undisclosed as the US Justice Department reviews the matter.
Over the past year YouTube has made efforts to tackle this situation, in particular by limiting the amount of recommendations for videos were children are deemed to be put at risk. Regardless of measures like this, child advocacy groups Stateside has still lodged complaints with the FTC, and for good reason.
This as kid-specific content has proved problematic for YouTube to handle, with explicit videos for example, somehow escaping the firm’s algorithmic-aided filters and getting millions of views.
This also brings up the big question about YouTube’s new targeted ads plan, as it remains unclear how the platform will determine if a video is made for children.
With the platform already failing to monitor and act upon explicit or abusive content, this latest move seems more like an attempt to appease the FTC instead of actually protecting its younger audience.