Since YouTube Kids was launched in 2015, Google has dealt with one debacle after another on inappropriate and sometimes disturbing videos that appear in videos that are marketed as a secure online space for children.
The problem is simply that there are also many potentially inappropriate content on the platform, and YouTube does not have enough human moderators or algorithms good enough to sort them. That's why the newest features released to YouTube Kids are so expected: just let parents control what videos their children can and can not watch.
YouTube adds three new options in the YouTube Kids app: parental controls over which channels and videos children can watch; a "search-shutdown" mode managed more closely; and reliable "collections" of channels curated by YouTube and approved partners such as Sesame Workshop and PBS Kids.
The biggest addition here is the parental control feature, which allows parents to hand-pick all channels and videos to which their child has access to the YouTube Kids app. The white list function allows parents to activate a "content only approved" option and then scroll through the available channels and videos and check the boxes of those who wish to appear. The show will launch "later this year," said James Beser, Product Director of YouTube Kids.
Google previously announced age-specific profiles for YouTube Kids users, but until now there was no way for parents to approve and manage the content available.
Starting this week, YouTube Kids will also have an improved "search disabled" mode. Parents have always had the possibility to disable the search within the application, but until now YouTube Kids continued to appear with recommended videos, some of which contained inappropriate content. The search mode will now only include channels that have been verified by the YouTube Kids team, which means that they have been approved by a human being, not by an algorithm.
Speaking of real humans, YouTube Kids' new reliable collections are one more step towards eliminating automation of the content moderation process of the application. On the Profile Settings page, when parents choose which content to approve, they will now see a list of channels and playlists approved directly by the YouTube Kids team or verified partners.
"For parents who like the current version of YouTube Kids and want a wider selection of content, it is still available." While no system is perfect, we continue to adjust, rigorously testing and improving our filters for this version. more open of our application, "Beser wrote in the blog post. "And, as always, we encourage parents to block and mark videos for review that should not be in the YouTube Kids app."
Beser said that reliable collections will include content on topics such as arts and crafts, learning, music and The collections of trust will also be launched this week with Sesame Workshop and PBS Kids as inaugural partners, although Beser said that YouTube Kids will add more partners over time.