COPPA stands for Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. It was put in place to protect minors from getting their personal information collected; the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is in charge of monitoring companies collecting information from minors under 13. I thought it was important to discuss and explain what my plans are for this come January 1, 2020. Now, I am not an expert on this; however, I have done research and I wanted to go over a little bit of what COPPA is and what I think about this. I will explain to the best of my ability but bare in mind please that mistakes may happen.
My plan is simple, it is to keep the uploads the same. The only difference is that they will be labeled ‘not for kids’. This would mainly affect what content might appear beside the video on the right on desktop or below a video on Mobile. (This will also have no effect on my schedule change for Twitch.)
How do I see this? I want to ask you something: Why give up? Why bother going outside when you do not have to as something might happen to you. So, we all should stop hanging out with friends outside, no more driving cars when we do not have to, and while we’re at it, let’s no longer attend concerts because something might happen. Now, obviously I do not advise people to go and do something stupid like jump off a building. What I am referring to is taking risks that are worth taking. When driving to work, you risk the chance of getting in a crash but if you are careful, it will decrease the chances of that happening. As long as people are informed and at least think before making and publishing a video, there shouldn’t be a problem.
Now, I know I am exaggerating but this is how I honestly feel about this. Personally for me, anyway, why should I simply stop uploading and/or delete my channel and content for something I love doing; making videos? Perhaps, I am not seeing the same picture that other people are seeing.
A problem with the COPPA enforcements on YouTube is the algorithm. The algorithm is basically a bot to help YouTube monitorate or curate the website and its content. It is ‘machine learning’. However, just like humans, machines or AI are imperfect. What I fear the most is the algorithm looking at a thumbnail or scanning parts of the videos (however it does that) and sees “Oh. There is Mario! This should be family-friendly. We will change this for SonicmanTheBest so it is ‘for kids’.”
Uh-oh. There is a problem. Now, videos targeted at kids under the age of 13 are being recommended on the side of the video. Videos or shows like SpongeBob SquarePants, kids playing Minecraft, or Scooby-Doo are being recommended. What may have been looked over (or missed completely) was some minor detail in the video that is not appropriate for all ages but it may not be mature, either. Watch the video above to get a better understanding of this since it is easier to discuss.
More on COPPA, the FTC will not go after every single person on YouTube. They simply do not have enough manpower to do that. They would more likely go after those that are really going overboard. Picture this: Someone that is knowingly intentionally trying to collect personal information from a user under 13 and marking a video or an entire channel ‘for kids’ of all ages, especially with age-restriction turned off, that person has a much higher chance of getting in trouble.
One other thing, the FTC is probably going to look for these things first: A minor’s name, (in this case, someone under 13) his or her address, Social Security Number, a personal picture, or someone’s phone number without consent from a legal guardian or adult. There is much more that they are looking for, as well. You can learn all about COPPA on the FTC’s website. Additionally, be sure to check out Rich’s video from ReviewTechUSA. He did a phenomenal job discussing COPPA and YouTube.
In addition, I saw a few other Content Creators, such as Rule of 2 Review, Nintendo Prime, and Boogie2988 talking about COPPA and their plans for the future. I am not calling these guys out. In fact, I would argue they had valid points and I will even go as far in suggesting you take the time to check them out and hear their side of the story.
Basically, my uploads will be the same. Unless you are knowingly intentionally going overboard, you will most likely be fine. So, quit worrying. There is no need to delete your channels or stopping uploaded content.