YouTube has put in place policies that will enable children to watch age-appropriate content that it hopes would encourage further exploration. YouTube Kids is a children-targeted version of YouTube that features curated educational videos, music, TV shows, and user-created content.
YouTube’s principles are organized around four “Rs”: removing harmful content, raising authoritative voices, reducing borderline content, and rewarding trusted creators. These pillars are applied across a range of content, grounding its efforts to protect kids and families. Here’s how they complement YouTube’s existing safety and digital wellbeing options and privacy and data practices:
According to YouTube, it has clear policies prohibiting content that exploits or endangers minors on the platform. Among the measures taken include removing violative content as quickly as possible, as well as a regular review of policies with external experts to ensure they are current. For example, YouTube has updated its policy to cover content targeted toward young minors and families that contains sexual themes, violence, obscenity, or other mature themes. In the second quarter of 2021, YouTube said it removed over 1.8 million videos for violations of its child safety policies.
YouTube Kids also has specific content policies and a much smaller set of channels and videos available that are allowed on the app. Part of its policies includes the removal of overly commercial content from YouTube Kids, such as videos that only focus on product packaging or directly encourage children to spend money.
In collaboration with child development specialists, YouTube established a set of quality principles to help connect families with high-quality content. On YouTube Kids, only age-appropriate videos and channels are allowed on the platform. Moreover, the videos should also be enriching and engaging, and able to inspire curiosity and imagination, celebrate diverse perspectives, and encourage kids to uncover their own interests and passions.
YouTube also said that these principles are also used to determine which high-quality content is recommended on YouTube. This means that when families are watching “made for kids” content, other recommended videos are aimed to be age-appropriate, educational, and can inspire creativity and imagination.
The same principles are also applied when it comes to removing channels from YouTube Kids and reducing the recommendation of kids content on YouTube that are of low-quality but do not necessarily violate YouTube’s Community Guidelines. Examples of this content include videos that are heavily commercial or promotional, encourage negative behaviors or attitudes and more.