Determining if your content is made for kids

Update Friday, November 22, 2019: The FTC released more information to help YouTube creators decide if their content is “made for kids” or not. You can learn more on the FTC’s blog.

Regardless of your location, we require you to tell us whether or not your videos are made for kids. We are making these changes according to an agreement with  the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and to help you comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and/or other applicable laws. Failure to set your content appropriately may result in consequences on YouTube or have legal consequences under COPPA and other laws.

We provide some guidance on what is considered  “made for kids” below, but we cannot provide legal advice. If you are unsure whether your videos meet this standard, we suggest you seek legal counsel. 

According to the FTC’s guidance on COPPA, a video is child directed (which we call “made for kids”) if:

  • Children are the primary audience based on the factors described below. 
  • Children are not the primary audience, but the video is still directed to children based on the factors below.

When deciding whether or not your channel or video is made for kids, you should consider various factors, including:

  • Subject matter of the video (e.g. educational content for preschoolers).
  • Whether children are your intended or actual audience for the video.
  • Whether the video includes child actors or models.
  • Whether the video includes characters, celebrities, or toys that appeal to children, including animated characters or cartoon figures.
  • Whether the language of the video is intended for children to understand.
  • Whether the video includes activities that appeal to children, such as play-acting, simple songs or games, or early education.
  • Whether the video includes songs, stories, or poems for children.
  • Any other information you may have to help determine your video’s audience, like empirical evidence of the video’s audience.

Note: YouTube Analytics (YTA) is not designed to help determine if your content is child directed. You should use the factors outlined by the FTC above to set your audience.

How old is a kid? The age of a "kid" in the United States is defined as anyone under the age of 13. However, the age of a kid may be higher in other countries, so consider the factors described above as appropriate given how kid is defined in applicable laws in your country, and consult legal counsel if you have additional questions. 

What if my content is applicable to a wide audience, but not kids specifically?
As the creator, you know your content best. If you intended to reach a kid audience, it’s likely that your video is made for kids. If you’re not sure about your audience, take a look at the features of your video - does it have actors, characters, activities, games, songs, or stories that kids are particularly attracted to? If so, your video may be directed to kids. The key is to balance all the COPPA specified factors that apply to this analysis. For example, the fact that a kid is featured in a video does not necessarily mean that the video is made for kids. You will have to look at all other attributes of the video like the intended audience, whether the video uses language that is intended for kids to understand, and the subject matter of the video (a medical video versus a play video). For further information on whether content is kid-directed, see the FTC’s guidance. You should also consider consulting a lawyer if you aren’t sure whether your content should be designated as made for kids.
In addition, creators outside of the United States will need to take into consideration additional obligations they may have under applicable laws when evaluating whether content is made for kids. Note, while the age of a kid in the United States is defined as anyone under the age of 13, the age of a kid is defined differently in different countries so consider the factors described above as appropriate given how "kid" is defined in relevant laws, and consult legal counsel if you have additional questions. 
Note: As a creator, you know your videos and your audience best, and it is your legal responsibility to comply with COPPA and/or other applicable laws and designate your content accurately. If you fail to  categorize your content correctly, there may be consequences on YouTube. Additionally, there may be legal consequences under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) or other applicable local laws. 
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