YouTube is in a world of trouble in the US over illegally tracking children as well as the wide spectrum of objectionable content that’s been mixed along with videos aimed at young users.
It needs expert solutions and human intervention, which is what it’s trying to do with YouTube Kids. This step has been taken after YouTube’s algorithms have been blamed for permitting disturbing, especially gore-filled videos, multiple times over the last six months.
In a blog post, YouTube announced that in order to let parents have better insights and control over what their children are viewing, three new features are being rolled out to the YouTube Kids app and web portal.
Firstly, YouTube Kids will now have carefully curated playlists compiled by trusted partners from a variety of fields varying from arts & craft to sports, music, and online learning. Parents will be able to choose which channels or partners they trust by simply going into the Profile Settings under My Kids menu.
While the YouTube Kids app has long had the option of switching search off, the feature has been updated to restrict suggestions as well, with only those videos which are verified by a special team of YouTube Kids moderators being visible. This, in turn, will limit the chances of kids viewing disturbing content that the AI moderator might have missed.
YouTube has also promised that it will launch a feature later this year, allowing parents to selectively choose which videos or channels they want kids to have access to. These new security settings, however, are completely optional and if parents are at peace with whatever YouTube Kids offers in its current form, they can continue to enjoy the service.
In the blog, YouTube does not clearly address the latest criticism and controversies, but admits that the app requires improvement since “no system is perfect“. It has now promised to rigorously analyze videos and improve the system over time while asking parents to flag videos which they find inappropriate for the platform.