YouTube Axon 10 ProSource: Jason England / Android Central

What you need to know

  • YouTube creators now have to classify their channel or videos as 'made for kids' or 'not made for kids' worldwide.
  • The change comes after a settlement the video site made with the FTC and NY Attorney General to make it compliant with COPPA.
  • If you fail to set your audience accurately, you could 'face compliance issues with the FTC or other authorities.'

There are some new changes coming to YouTube for creators which will require you to set the audience for your channel or videos as either "made for kids" or "not made for kids." This comes as a result of a settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and NY Attorney General to ensure compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). It's important to note that even though the settlement took place on U.S. soil, this will affect all YouTube creators worldwide.

Going forward, YouTube creators now have to decide if their channel or videos are kid-safe. Along with the couple of guidelines below, you can also check this help article for additional details on following COPPA guidelines.

It is directed to children as the primary audience (e.g. videos for preschoolers).

It is directed to children but children are a secondary audience (e.g. cartoon video that primarily targets teenagers but is also intended for younger kids).

If your entire channel is kid-safe or not kid-safe, then it will be as simple as one click to set your channel as such. Things get a bit more complicated if you have a mix though, because it will require you to mark each and every video upload as "made for kids" or "not made for kids."

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Along with manually classifying content as "made for kids," YouTube will also use its machine learning to detect whether the content is kid-safe. However, machines are not perfect, so it warns users not to rely on YouTube to classify your videos for you.

The email also says that if you do not assign a category for your videos, or if YouTube detects an error or abuse, it will set your audience for you. Plus, if you don't set your audience appropriately, it warns you could "face compliance issues with the FTC or other authorities, and we may take action on your YouTube account."

Besides these changes, YouTube also announced that, beginning in January, it will limit data collection on "made for kids" videos.

This means we will disable personalized ads on this content (which affects revenue for creators making content for kids), as well as certain features like comments, notifications and others. Note: You may see some small changes as we experiment and refine our systems over the next few months.

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