Bloomberg revealed an interesting detail in a report on the “Year of Responsibility” by YouTube. Apparently, for each piece of content on the platform YouTube Kids was originally going to be manually curated.
YouTube has recently begun forcing creators to decide whether or not their content is intended for kids after the FTC fined the site. This affects how ads appear on that content and what kind of ads appear on it. As explained, this could have tremendous effects on the income of the creator and created some panic with the new legal liability associated with labeling a video for children.
The new decision puts the blame on the creators but at one point the platform seemed to have considered having much more control over children’s content. Bloomberg explains that a team of 40 employees worked on a project called “Crosswalk” earlier this year–”a way to direct kids across the chaotic streets of YouTube”–which would explicitly pick content for YouTube Kids.
YouTube will screen the video for any content targeted at children under age of 8 before allowing it to proceed to a manually curated platform in YouTube Kids.
The idea has gone to the point where a press release has been written in YouTube so far. In that release Susan Wojcicki said that each YouTube Kids clip would be reviewed by qualified reviewers. At the last minute, however, plans for the manually curated YouTube Kids app have been dropped It was apparently decided on inside YouTube as it made YouTube less of a neutral forum, but it was denied by a spokesperson.
YouTube Kids offers some manually curated content options. In 2018, the app added an option to allow parents to curate content on specific channels that they trust in the app or whitelist.