YouTube "quits plans" to end targeted advertising on the main page for uploaded videos that children are likely to watch, according to a new report by Bloomberg . The move may be intended to appease regulators in the Federal Trade Commission who have investigated whether YouTube has violated the Children's Online Privacy Act (COPPA) through data collection and a lack of protection of young users on the platform.
A study by Pew Research has found that videos with children under 13 receive on average three times as many views as other videos.
In July, it was reported that the FTC reached a settlement with Google on the matter, with YouTube's parent company expected to pay a "multi-million dollar fine." .
YouTube has taken steps over the past year, such as closing comments on video starring children and limiting recommendations "to videos that it considers endanger children," but consumer groups have complained to the FTC that the company is still not does not do enough. (YouTube has been surfing on family-friendly content higher in recommendations over the past few weeks.) The company has been encouraged to move all child-focused videos away from YouTube to the separate YouTube Kids website and app. But the company (and the creators) has said that such a drastic step can reverberate across the platform's community.
As Bloomberg's Mark Bergen notes, it is not clear at what time the videos would be intended to be directed at children, and the plan is already facing criticism over the difficulty of enforcing it.