Important Update for All Creators: Complying with COPPA

If you create content for YouTube, this video is very important to watch as it describes changes to the upload process, all of your existing videos and potentially your monetization. We’ll go through important new requirements for all videos that you should take action on as soon as possible. We’ll provide some background on what’s happening, walk you through a new audience setting in YouTube Studio and how to use it, and then answer some questions you might have about this update. Here’s what we’ll cover:

0:37 Background on what’s happening:
0:57 What’s launching
1:30 How to set your audience
2:44 Answering questions about this update
2:49 What is considered “Made for Kids” content?
3:57 How old is a “kid”?
4:22 If you set your content as “Made for Kids”, what does this mean for your channel?
4:48 What other features will no longer be available if I set my content as “Made for Kids”?
5:26 What happens if YouTube’s systems say my video is “Made for Kids”, but I disagree?
5:56 What happens if I mark my video’s audience incorrectly?

Check out these Help articles for more information:
Set your audience: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/9527654
Determining if your content is “Made for Kids”: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/9528076

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20 thoughts on “Important Update for All Creators: Complying with COPPA

  1. If you haven't already, see our new video answering your top questions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdIlQ9kq4F4
    We’ve seen some additional questions in the comments, so we’re adding some FAQs here. Also note that
    The FTC released more information to help YouTube creators decide if their content is “made for kids” or not: ​https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/blogs/business-blog/2019/11/youtube-channel-owners-your-content-directed-children?utm_source=govdelivery​

    Q:Why is YouTube doing this?
    A: The changes we’ve made are to address the recent settlement between the FTC and YouTube. These changes are to better protect kids and their privacy, and to comply with the law. YouTube is not, and has never been, for people under 13. We remove thousands of accounts per week when we discover they belong to someone under 13. But, the FTC investigation raised the concern that, given the increase in shared devices, kids may be watching kids content on YouTube unsupervised. And we can’t control how people and families decide to use YouTube together. So, we have to make these changes to distinguish what content is “Made for Kids” on YouTube, and then ensure we handle data for that content in a way that protects kids’ privacy.

    Q: I make videos that are safe for everyone to watch. I even call them family friendly. Does that mean my videos are made for kids?
    A: No. Just because a video may be safe or appropriate for everyone to watch, does not mean that the video is necessarily made for kids.
    What’s important is who you’re trying to reach with your videos. According to factors laid out by the FTC, if your video has actors, characters, activities, games, songs, stories, or other subject matter that is intended for a children’s audience, it’s likely made for kids.
    If not, it’s unlikely that your content needs to be marked as “made for kids”.

    Q: What if children watch my video, but it’s not meant to target kids?
    A: According to the new guidance released by the FTC, “your content isn’t considered ‘made for kids’ just because some children may see it.” If your video is meant to target adults, and children incidentally enjoy it, it’s likely not made for kids.

    Q: Is animated content considered made for kids?
    A: According to the FTC, just because your video has bright colors or animated characters does not mean your content is automatically “made for kids”. While many animated shows are directed to kids, “the FTC recognizes there can be animated programming that appeals to everyone”, and therefore would not need to be marked as “made for kids”.

    Q: Does this impact Minecraft or gaming videos? What about family vloggers?
    A: Remember — according to the FTC, your content isn’t considered ‘made for kids’ just because some children may see it.
    Although games like Minecraft might appeal to children, what’s important is whether the content you’ve created, itself, is directed towards kids.
    Same for family vloggers — some family vloggers make content for kids, while others target parents and adults.

    Q: I understand why you wouldn’t want kids to have personalized ads — but why do you have to get rid of other features like comments, end screens and notifications?
    A: Similar to personalized ads, these features rely on user data. So, for videos that are made for kids, these features as they stand today must be limited or turned off to comply with the law. We know this is a big change, but to help protect kids’ privacy, we have to limit data collection and use on videos made for kids.

    Q: Isn’t this what YouTube Kids is for?
    A: We recommend parents use the YouTube Kids app if they want kids under 13 to watch independently. But, we can’t control how families choose to use YouTube, and the FTC investigation raised the valid concern that kids may be watching kids content on YouTube unsupervised. So these changes must be made outside of the Kids App, on YouTube, to ensure our data practices for all content "Made for Kids" are protecting kids’ privacy.

    Q: Is “general audience” content the same as “mixed audience” content?
    A: No. General audience content is content that appeals to everyone and isn't intended specifically for children, or is intended for a teen or older audience. Remember, just because a video may be safe or appropriate for everyone to watch, does not mean that the video is necessarily made for kids, and would not need to be marked as “made for kids” on YouTube. Mixed audience content, on the other hand, is considered a type of made for kids content. This is content that has children as an audience, that might include characters, activities, games, toys, songs, stories, or other elements that children like.

    Q: Why didn’t YouTube add a “mixed audience” setting option?
    A: In designing the audience setting feature, we decided to streamline the options for creators by creating a single Made for Kids category to avoid further confusion in an already unclear space. There are some complexities with the mixed audience category, and we’re submitting public comments to the FTC to help us create a better solution for creators– including mixed audience creators.

    If you have content that is appropriate for both children and adults, what’s important is who you’re intending to target. If you have some videos that are intentionally targeting children, and some that are definitely not, you can set your audience at the individual video level in YouTube Studio.

    In our comment to the FTC, we advocate for creators throughout, communicating the potential impact that these changes will have on the community. And we’ll continue to do so as we work towards a better solution.

    Q: How does your system define content as “Made for Kids”?
    A: Our systems look for signals that indicate that a video is clearly made for kids, such as the presence of child actors, characters, activities, games, toys, songs, or stories that children like.

    But remember, you know your audience best — so we’ve asked all creators to choose their audience setting. You can change or update your audience setting, even if it’s been set by YouTube’s machine learning systems. You can do this in the “Videos” tab of YouTube Studio. We’ll only change your settings if we detect error or abuse. So if you haven’t already, make sure to set your audience at the channel level or update your videos in YouTube Studio.

    Q: Does marking my video as “Not Made for Kids” mean it’s only suitable for adults?
    A: No, setting your audience as "Not Made for Kids" does not mean that it's only suitable for audiences 18+, and it doesn’t mean we’re going to age restrict your content. The audience setting was exclusively created to help you comply with COPPA and other children's privacy laws – age restriction is a separate setting that might be enabled when a video doesn't violate our policies, but may have content that's only appropriate for audiences that are 18+.

    A video that has excessive vulgar language or violence may be age restricted, rather than removed, if it provides additional context that shows that the primary purpose is educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic. For example, content that only shows victims’ injuries in an accident may be removed. But, that same content may be age-restricted instead of removed if presented with news coverage that explains the situation and context. You can find more info on age-restricted content in this help center article: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2802167

    Q: My content is Made for Kids — does this mean I won’t earn any revenue anymore?
    A: If you create content made for kids, your videos may still be eligible to earn revenue from non personalized ads. These ads are shown based on the context of the video rather than on user data. We’re also working to make other monetization features COPPA-compliant so that you can earn money outside of ads.

    Q: Do I have to mark my old videos as “Made for Kids”?
    A: Yes, all kids videos need to be marked as made for kids. You can bulk update all existing videos at once and set a default for future uploads using the channel level audience setting in YouTube Studio. If you don’t want to set your audience at the channel level, but you do want to set videos in bulk, go to the Video tab of YouTube Studio > Select video(s) > Edit > Audience. More details are in this Help Center article: https://yt.be/help/9Sgi

    Q: How do I get into the YouTube Kids app?
    A: While this isn’t about the YouTube Kids app, we’re happy to explain a little bit more about how to be included there. We have a “Creating for Families” guide that is designed to help creators develop programming that will resonate with family and kid audiences, and may be eligible for the YouTube Kids app. You can find this guide here: https://yt.be/help/miTP There’s no way to guarantee that your content will appear in Youtube Kids, and we use a mix of automated filters, user feedback, and human review to determine if content is suitable for the app.

  2. This is unacceptable it's the parents job to make sure their kids stay safe online, not people who make entertainment for the whole world to see,l. I think I'm going to leave YouTube.

  3. Me:*watch Okada Izou's noble phantasm where he slashing enemy 'til die and then laugh chaoticly
    Youtube:" this is for kids"

  4. ftc stands for "F*** the creators" this is VERY true as we all know how sh*ty this is, its not even youtubes fault its stupid kids fault for going on this website even tho its not youtubes fault so as we know FTC stands for f** the creators

  5. 2005: From humble free video streaming services
    :-Do whatever u want
    2019: video streaming dictatorship by google
    U can't put copyright music nd stock clip now in your videos wat a joke
    2029 YouTube dies

  6. My fellow YT
    Yes I am small on sub but guess what I dotn care we are all in this together if we send complaints they will do something
    Copa wont strike us down no matter what
    VIVA LA YT

  7. Ok I’m back and COOPA has not done anything bad witch is good nobody even talks about this anymore and it just does not exist

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