YouTube Kids, Criticized for Content, Introduces New Parental Controls

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News stories range from the relatively benign - like Tuesday's hack that wiped out highly-viewed music videos like last year's hit "Despacito", to the more disturbing, like reports - also from Tuesday - that the platform was serving in-video ads linking to hardcore porn.

In order to meet USA child privacy rules, Google says it bans kids under 13 from using its core video service. Just go into Profile Settings, and select from available collections such as Sesame Workshop and PBS KIDS. He added that the YouTube Kids app was meant "to give kids around the world a place to access videos that were enriching, engaging and allowed them to explore their endless interests".

YouTube explained that while the algorithms can delete some content on their own, such as spam videos, it mostly forwards anything it suspects is in violation of their guidelines to human reviewers.

In a blog detailing the work it's doing to enforce its community guidelines, YouTube said the removed videos represented a "fraction of a percent of YouTube's total views" during the final three months of past year.

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As Engadget notes, YouTube has been under fire since previous year after it was discovered that contents masquerading as videos for children actually contained extremely inappropriate images and topics. This makes it easier for parents to choose collections based on the topics they want their kids to access on the app.

Google is updating its YouTube Kids app to improve the control over the videos and channels that can be watched by children.

However starting this week, turning search off will now limit children's experiences to channels that have been verified by the YouTube Kids team, said YouTube. These are videos from approved brands, which are more likely to be safe for you to watch than other random videos on the site. But parents have discovered a range of inappropriate videos on the app, highlighting the platform's dependence on automation and a lack of human oversight. As part of that initiative, the company laid out three new safety features that it will roll out to the YouTube Kids app over the current year. YouTube says that they will be adding more partners over time, so we may hear more about local Australian content down the track.