Upcoming changes to children's content on YouTube.com

We're making a few changes to how we collect and use data on children's content on YouTube.com. These changes will address concerns raised by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding our compliance under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

In the coming months, here's what's changing: 

  • As a creator, you will be required to tell us if your content is made for kids. In addition, we'll use machine learning to help us identify videos that clearly target young audiences. At a high level, content that is made for kids has an emphasis on:
    • Children or children's characters.
    • Popular children's programming or animated characters.
    • Play-acting, or stories using children's toys.
    • Child protagonists engaging in common natural play patterns such as play-acting and/or imaginative play. 
    • Popular children's songs, stories or poems.

Ultimately, you know your audience best and we'll rely on you to designate (in Studio) your videos as made for kids. If a creator attempts to avoid categorising their content correctly, there may be consequences on the YouTube platform for that creator.

  • We will stop serving personalised ads on content that is made for kids, whether designated by you or by our classifier.  In accordance with COPPA, serving personalised ads (ads that are targeted to users based on their past usage of Google products and services) to child audiences is not permissible. If applicable, this may result in a decrease in revenue for some creators. Note that we will continue to serve non-personalised ads (ads that are shown based on context rather than on user data) on content that is made for kids. 
  • Some features will no longer be available on this type of content, like comments. The ability to comment will no longer be available on the watch page. Likes/dislikes and subscriptions on this content will not show up on public lists. Overall, viewers will have minimum engagement options with 'made for kids' content on YouTube.com.

Note that though COPPA is a US law, we are making changes to our practices globally. You can learn more about COPPA compliance here. You need to consider your applicable legal obligations when evaluating whether your content may be made for kids, including how the age of a child is defined in your country. Consult legal counsel if you have additional questions.

Preparing for these changes

We recognise that this won't be easy for some creators, but we believe that these are important steps to improve data practices on content made for kids on YouTube.com. We've worked with the FTC to give impacted creators four months to adjust before these changes take effect on YouTube.com. Before these changes take place, it's important that you:

  • Understand COPPA and your legal responsibilities as a creator. You can learn more about COPPA here. You need to consider your applicable legal obligations when evaluating whether your content may be made for kids, including how the age of a child is defined in your country. Consult legal counsel if you have additional questions.
  • Understand our Terms of Service and your responsibilities as a general YouTube user. YouTube is a general-audience site; our Terms of Service are clear that users may use the service if they are over 13 or the relevant minimum age in their country. We recommend that parents use YouTube Kids if they plan to allow children to watch independently.
  • Learn about other ways to monetise. We'll continue to serve non-personalised ads (ads that are shown based on context rather than on user data). This Help Centre article outlines some types of non-personalised ads under 'Content targeting'. 
  • If you're a parent, make sure that you're aware of YouTube Kids and its benefits.
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