COPPA and the possible end of YouTube

I will start this post with a bit of disclaimer, I am not a lawyer, I don’t know all of the specifics, and this is merely speculation. Now that the disclaimer is over, onto the post. So I am looking for alternatives to Youtube (free ones) because of what I think may occur in the new year. So if you are not aware of the COPPA settlement that YouTube had, I will attempt to sum it up for you.

Basically there is a law in the US (COPPA) that says that internet companies can’t gather data on kids under the age of 13. YouTube was found in violation of that law. I would not be surprised to find out if they were violating the law for years. Anyway, YouTube basically has to separate videos into two categories. Ones that young kids are likely to be watching and ones that they aren’t. The term that I have been hearing is “kid-attractive”. Now I don’t know what that is supposed to mean and from what I understand, most YouTubers don’t either. And therein lies part of the problem. The categorization is being passed from Youtube to the content creators. The other part of the problem is that if the FTC decided that you mislabeled your content, you can be fined for targeting ads to kids. Many creators are in a type of gray land. And thus I will continue onto my viewpoint.

So a lot of what I like to watch on YouTube is what I would call family friendly if not necessarily kid friendly. Meaning, the content is oriented towards adults but parents probably wouldn’t mind their kids watching it. So I like to watch miniature hobbyists, cooking content, and video game reviewers. At least, that is what I am currently watching. One of the cooking channels I watch will occasionally have their kids in the video. All three could fall under the vagueness of the settlement compliance. One has already said that they think that they might just put all of their videos to private and wait to see if there is any clarification that would allow her to continue. She says that she really can’t afford any fines that may occur. I would not be surprised to find out that many people feel the same.

So where does that leave YouTube as a whole. I think that if the FTC could enforce the compliance and decides to fine some people to send across a message, well, people will stop adding videos to YouTube. If I and probably others as well can’t watch our favorite channels, then I probably will stop coming to YouTube all together. I think that eventually, advertisers will look elsewhere to spend their cash and YouTube will cease to exist. Now this may take months or even years, but I think that if YouTube doesn’t take a proactive approach, they may start their own demise. Again this is all speculation based on the videos that I have watched and my own opinions. Its entirely possible that with the petition or enough vocal response from the YouTube community, that things will change. So we will have to see what happens. Regardless, do you have any suggestions for YouTube alternatives? Preferably English speaking and free. What do you think of the COPPA settlement? Please answer below with your comments and thanks for reading.

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