The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

Is youtube about to get nuked? (COPPA FTC)

Remove ads while supporting the Unscripted philosophy...become an INSIDER.

luniac

Platinum Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Dec 7, 2012
1,777
2,764
677
30
brooklyn
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0veLrwd9CK4



I keep seeing more and more DOOMSDAY talk, what do you guys think is this something to really be concerned about?
hell if the FTC fines me 45k bucks, i guess im going to jail cause i aint got that kind of money lol

the CRAZY part is my youtube analytics only shows stats for 13 and up ANYWAY cause isn't that the MINIMUM AGE for registering on google!?!?
so i can't even see if kids are watching my stuff LOL, fukin insane
Capture.PNG

i swear this is a class action suit against the FTC waiting to happen.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Grinder20

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 28, 2019
124
198
149
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0veLrwd9CK4



I keep seeing more and more DOOMSDAY talk, what do you guys think is this something to really be concerned about?
hell if the FTC fines me 45k bucks, i guess im going to jail cause i aint got that kind of money lol

the CRAZY part is my youtube analytics only shows stats for 13 and up ANYWAY cause isn't that the MINIMUM AGE for registering on google!?!?
so i can't even see if kids are watching my stuff LOL, fukin insane
View attachment 29023

i swear this is a class action suit against the FTC waiting to happen.

@luniac I saw this the other day that this was presented and is going to get passed. I don't have a YouTube channel, but this is absolutely absurd!!! I feel for you and anyone else that has been busting their a$$ over the years to create a business, a life, and make a difference... it's really sad! There are few YouTubers with deep pockets and lawsuits are already happening, but I'm sure a lot more will be coming. I think it will be interesting to see what happens to big tech media and Silicon Valley in the coming years. Not to get political, but this a blatant attempt by YouTube to push their propaganda Hollywood agenda with big corporate backed $$$ while the are lobbyists drewling to get in line...so the cycle of b.s. goes. But remember it's for the children and their safety :rofl:

I wish you and anyone else that has to deal with this the best!
 

Lex DeVille

Sweeping Shadows from Dreams
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 14, 2013
3,509
22,350
4,306
The Underground
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0veLrwd9CK4



I keep seeing more and more DOOMSDAY talk, what do you guys think is this something to really be concerned about?
hell if the FTC fines me 45k bucks, i guess im going to jail cause i aint got that kind of money lol

the CRAZY part is my youtube analytics only shows stats for 13 and up ANYWAY cause isn't that the MINIMUM AGE for registering on google!?!?
so i can't even see if kids are watching my stuff LOL, fukin insane
View attachment 29023

i swear this is a class action suit against the FTC waiting to happen.

This is terrifying... @Fox
 

Lex DeVille

Sweeping Shadows from Dreams
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 14, 2013
3,509
22,350
4,306
The Underground
I wonder if it would be enough to put a disclaimer at the beginning of videos that the video is not intended for children or people under the age of X.

parental-advisory1.jpg


That would clearly state that the video does not target children and should not be watched by children despite graphics, animations, subject matter etc on the cover photo.
 

Fox

Legendary Contributor
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Forum Sponsor
Aug 19, 2015
2,826
19,933
3,756
Europe
This is terrifying... @Fox

I think the context for this is that over the last few years some really weird videos have been on YT targetted towards kids. If you google you will find out what happened but some sickos were doing some weird stuff and a bunch of videos went viral that were very questionable.

I don't think this would impact a normal personal/business YT channel. In my case, I teach web design and got nothing to do with kids or kid content. Sure kids my watch my content but it isn't targetted at them.

Unless you make kid targetted content (i doubt many/any of us do) it seems like not a huge deal to me.
That stuff should be heavily regulated so something like this may be a good first step.

Do you really want your kids open to any and all types of people who can upload any type of video?
Probably not.

Gaming content is the big grey zone here - kids love it but a lot of the time its some adult producing the content. There will probably be some drama/issues with that niche but I don't see a normal biz niche being impacted.

I never curse in videos, I removed some travel videos with girls in bikinis etc, and have cleaned up my channel content in general over the last year. As a channel, I make over 10 times the normal rate for ads based on my views - having an on-point channel is good for ads so it is good for Youtube. Basically - you get promoted more.

As YouTube goes more and more mainstream you need to be aware of your own content and how it could be worse perceived. That isn't being negative or paranoid but more just being realistic that you don't own the platform nor make the rules.

So if your channel is for business then treat it as such and stay well within the rules or safe zones.
That's my thoughts anyway.
 

Beerbread

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Dec 2, 2019
131
199
149
New Jersey
I feel that we can do business as usual on YouTube, but we should start moving to Daily Motion. You'll be subjected under EU law, but at least you can post and curse whenever you want.
 

Xavier X

Silver Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 1, 2016
303
764
284
These United States
The people I feel bad for are those who make legitimate clean content for kids. The recent wave of changes have already, and will continue to stifle their channel activities. The major one being the disabling of comments for such videos.

The Youtube comments section drives engagement around videos, subsequently driving views and notice by the algorithm. All this translates to increased revenue. Without it, well tough luck.

That said, I can see why this became necessary. I was one of the early people to notice the disturbing trend that was springing up on YouTube 5-7 years ago. I seriously considered doing an exposé type mini-doc on it called "Dark Side of the Tube," because no one was talking about it in the media. I was surprised that this was happening seemingly under the radar for so long on a site like YouTube.

As @Fox already mentioned, there were pockets of YouTube that contained very objectionable videos of kids, and for kids. They had millions of views, and the comments section was a cesspool of depraved men and kids. Dangerous combo. Many of the channels were even run by kids, and the interactions between the channel owners and commenters was disturbing. Then there were those run by the guardians of the kids, but using the kids to bait that crowd for views. Many were Russian and other Eastern European channels.

It's easy for people to raise their torches and pitchforks when attempts are made by corporations to put checks and balances in place. However, the same people will still torch the building if nothing is done about such things.
 

Nick M.

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jul 13, 2018
175
344
173
It's important to note that YouTube's implementation of COPPA does not follow the FTC guidelines perfectly.

TL;DR

If your content is not made for children, mark it as not for children and you should be fine. It's not the end of the world.

Let's break down COPPA

COPPA is designed to help keep children's data private. If your content is aimed at children under 13, you can't collect data about them.

However, if your content is not aimed at children under 13 yet a 9-year-old still watches your video, you can still collect their data. That's legal. You just can't collect their data if you know they are under 13.

For instance, there's probably a 9-year-old browsing this forum right now. Is MJ in trouble? Nope. It's not aimed at children under 13 and MJ doesn't know the ages of all the anonymous visitors, so he's not subject to COPPA.

According to the FTC, there are actually three types of content:
  • Aimed at children under 13
  • Aimed at a general audience
  • Aimed at adults
Only content aimed at children under 13 is subject to COPPA. If you produce content aimed at a general audience that happens to be watched by children under 13, you should be good. (should)

YouTube's COPPA Problem

Since YouTube is aimed at a general audience, why did YouTube get fined?

Even though YouTube's terms said that you must be 13 or older to use the platform, many children like watching YouTube. YouTube learned about this and kept collecting data from the children. That's the violation.

COPPA on YouTube

One of the largest problems with YouTube and COPPA right now is YouTube only offers creators to select between content for children and content for adults. There is no general audience option on YouTube.

Gaming is a grey area because it's usually aimed at a general audience. According to the FTC, you should be fine. Because YouTube doesn't have a general audience option, gamers need to decide between two extremes. Their content is clearly not aimed at children. Yet, their content is clearly not aimed at adults.

If gamers select that their content is not aimed at children, then it implies it's aimed at adults. This can lead to repercussions because it's not aimed at adults. That's why many gamers are considering swearing or moving to more adult content in their videos.

If gamers select that their content is aimed at children, they lose pretty much all features on YouTube, including monetization, stats, comments, and their videos being recommended. This is disastrous for anyone making money from YouTube.

This doesn't just apply to gamers, though.

General audience creators don't know if kids watch their content

YouTube stats don't reveal this information.

FTC Guidelines don't help with deciding the general audience exception

The FTC guidelines are vague precisely because YouTube does not allow you to select a general audience. If people of all ages watch your video, it likely includes elements that children like. If you select "aimed at adults," are those elements enough for an FTC violation?

From everything I've read and heard, that's where the issue lies. Likely, YouTube is overprotecting itself from another huge fine. In the process, it's forcing many creators into an impossible decision.

Takeaway

Unless your business is clearly aimed at children, I wouldn't worry about COPPA. Just don't give the impression that your content is for kids. You're not worried about YouTube, you're worried about the FTC. And the law says that general audience content is not subject to COPPA.

I am not a lawyer and have not fully read COPPA or YouTube implementation of it. This is not legal advice.
 

MMatt

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Nov 14, 2011
322
317
133
I have been debating creating a thread on this subject as I run a mildly successful YouTube channel that normally gets 1+ Million monthly views. Unfortunately my channel happens for fall in a "grey-area" as the FTC guidelines are far too vague.

I will start by saying that my content is 100% G-rated, and friendly to all age viewers.

From an uninformed perspective, my channel could seem like a child-directed channel, when in fact it is based on a very expensive hobby enjoyed by adults. Analytics show that 90% of my views are from adults between the ages of 18 and 44 years old.

I think everyone is in agreement that child privacy and safety on the internet is extremely important.

The problem is within the extremely vague wording of the FTC guidelines which outline if content is "made for kids" or not. This wording basically subjects any content to violation of the guidelines depending solely on the FTC's interpretation of the content.

On November 22nd there was a slight update to to the wording, but the threat of $40k fines per video is still there.

I think most channels shouldn't have much to worry about. It is the rare few channels like mine that have to walk the tight rope of listing your channel as "made for kids" and destroying your adsense revenue and user engagement, or leaving it as "adult targeted" and risking massive fines.

Would YouTube analytics history and a good explanation deter the FTC from smacking you with a huge fine? Doubt it.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Lex DeVille

Sweeping Shadows from Dreams
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 14, 2013
3,509
22,350
4,306
The Underground
I have been debating creating a thread on this subject as I run a mildly successful YouTube channel that normally gets 1+ Million monthly views. Unfortunately my channel happens for fall in a "grey-area" as the FTC guidelines are far too vague.

I will start by saying that my content is 100% G-rated, and friendly to all age viewers.

From an uninformed perspective, my channel could seem like a child-directed channel, when in fact it is based on a very expensive hobby enjoyed by adults. Analytics show that 90% of my views are from adults between the ages of 18 and 44 years old.

I think everyone is in agreement that child privacy and safety on the internet is extremely important.

The problem is within the extremely vague wording of the FTC guidelines which outline if content is "made for kids" or not. This wording basically subjects any content to violation of the guidelines depending solely on the FTC's interpretation of the content.

On November 22nd there was a slight update to to the wording, but the threat of $40k fines per video is still there.

I think most channels shouldn't have much to worry about. It is the rare few channels like mine that have to walk the tight rope of listing your channel as "made for kids" and destroying your adsense revenue and user engagement, or leaving it as "adult targeted" and risking massive fines.

Would YouTube analytics history and a good explanation deter the FTC from smacking you with a huge fine? Doubt it.

These are areas on my mind at the moment, and I think it would be a mistake to dismiss the FTC based on what we think our channels imply. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what we think about our channel. It matters what the FTC thinks and if they think your last 50 videos are violations, then that's just a $2 million dollar fine. I'm sure most creators can cover that with ad revenue though! :D

Some of the vague language makes me wonder if I need to go back through my 200+ videos and make edits or start removing them. I've got lots of bright colors, cartoon things, animations etc. Plus I'm pretty sure I've said the word "fun" and "whatever" a few times.
 

MMatt

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Nov 14, 2011
322
317
133
These are areas on my mind at the moment, and I think it would be a mistake to dismiss the FTC based on what we think our channels imply. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what we think about our channel. It matters what the FTC thinks and if they think your last 50 videos are violations, then that's just a $2 million dollar fine. I'm sure most creators can cover that with ad revenue though! :D

Some of the vague language makes me wonder if I need to go back through my 200+ videos and make edits or start removing them. I've got lots of bright colors, cartoon things, animations etc. Plus I'm pretty sure I've said the word "fun" and "whatever" a few times.
Well the update says the FTC will evaluate the business's financials and try not to put them out of business with their fine. What a joke. It's basically worded so they can screen channels and print themselves money on their own terms.

It does not help that "YouTubers" are portrayed by the media as filthy-rich, lambo driving millenials. Those are the 1% of creators that the slowlane media loves to pick apart.
 

Beerbread

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Dec 2, 2019
131
199
149
New Jersey
These are areas on my mind at the moment, and I think it would be a mistake to dismiss the FTC based on what we think our channels imply. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what we think about our channel. It matters what the FTC thinks and if they think your last 50 videos are violations, then that's just a $2 million dollar fine. I'm sure most creators can cover that with ad revenue though! :D

Some of the vague language makes me wonder if I need to go back through my 200+ videos and make edits or start removing them. I've got lots of bright colors, cartoon things, animations etc. Plus I'm pretty sure I've said the word "fun" and "whatever" a few times.

I think you should start archiving your stuff just in case or move to another host. Your channel is a goldmine. I got approved on Upwork the other day because of them!
 

Nick M.

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jul 13, 2018
175
344
173
There's a lesson we take away from this: don't violate the commandment of control.

My channel on YouTube is (probably) safe, but that doesn't mean there's going to be something else that destroys my channel tomorrow.

Even if any of our channels aren't affected by COPPA, it's a good time to make sure we don't rely on YouTube for business. Personally, I'm probably going to start moving subscribers onto an email list in case I ever need to switch platforms.

P.S. Within this COPPA controversy, I smell an opportunity.
 

Beerbread

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Dec 2, 2019
131
199
149
New Jersey
There's a lesson we take away from this: don't violate the commandment of control.

My channel on YouTube is (probably) safe, but that doesn't mean there's going to be something else that destroys my channel tomorrow.

Even if any of our channels aren't affected by COPPA, it's a good time to make sure we don't rely on YouTube for business. Personally, I'm probably going to start moving subscribers onto an email list in case I ever need to switch platforms.

P.S. Within this COPPA controversy, I smell an opportunity.

I had an inkling it was going down that road for a few years now the moment YouTube started attacking channels that had cursing in them and creators started to censor themselves. Most of them still use the platform, but as a compliment now. They all moved to Twitch for their money, but God knows when that will turn them on their heads.

An email list sounds like a good idea! I wonder how much of a pain it is to host everything yourself
 

daivey

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Apr 6, 2014
441
410
159
41
Im not really seeing what the issue is if you select "content is not for kids" on your youtube channel settings, that should fix the issue...

I don't understand how it impacts you. If you select "content is not for kids" and then people navigate to your channel, you can't stop them.....
and if Youtube's algo is displaying your content to kids, that's on youtube.
 

Nick M.

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jul 13, 2018
175
344
173
Im not really seeing what the issue is if you select "content is not for kids" on your youtube channel settings, that should fix the issue...

I don't understand how it impacts you. If you select "content is not for kids" and then people navigate to your channel, you can't stop them.....
and if Youtube's algo is displaying your content to kids, that's on youtube.

That's how it should work. But that's not how it will likely work. If the FTC believes that your content is made for kids and you have not marked it as such, they can fine you. Their definition of what's "made for kids" is vague, and it's completely up to their discretion.
 

Nick M.

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jul 13, 2018
175
344
173
For those still confused about COPPA or how it applies to YouTube, here's the best resource I've seen. It's even by a lawyer who's read the law.

View: https://youtu.be/C3Q48dwopVU
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Nick M.

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jul 13, 2018
175
344
173
Official response from YouTube.

View: https://youtu.be/KdIlQ9kq4F4


Here's a brief rundown of several of the Q&As from YouTube's video. There are more answers in the video. These are just highlights that are probably most applicable to us.

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?

No. What's important is who you're trying to reach. "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." (emphasis from YouTube).

What if children watch my video, but it’s not meant to target kids?

Just because children watch your content doesn't mean it's made for kids.

Is animated content considered made for kids?

Just because you have animation or bright colors, it does not mean your content is made for kids. The FTC recognizes that animation can appeal to everyone.

Isn’t this what YouTube Kids is for?

YouTube can't control how people watch their videos. Children can watch YouTube from a parent's account unsupervised, so these changes must be made on YouTube main as well.

Is “general audience” content the same as “mixed audience” content?

No. "General audience" is content made for people above age 13. This can be marked as "not made for kids."

"Mixed content" is made for both children under 13 as well as children and adults above 13. It's considered a type of kids content.

The video does not explicitly say (but implied) that "mixed content" must be marked as "made for kids."

Why didn’t YouTube add a “mixed audience” setting option?

They believe it's simpler. They are working with the FTC for a better solution.

How does your system define content as “Made for Kids”?

Automatically by the same guidelines announced by the FTC.

If YouTube erroneously marks your content, you can correct it yourself. They will only lock it if they detect "error or abuse."

Does marking my video as “Not Made for Kids” mean it’s only suitable for adults?

No. "Not made for kids" does not mean it's 18+. It will not age restrict your content.

My content is Made for Kids -- does this mean I won’t earn any revenue anymore?

No, you still have non-personalized ads, and they are working on making other monetization features COPPA compliant.

Do I have to mark my old videos as “Made for Kids”?

Yes. All kids videos must be marked "made for kids."
 

Mattie

Platinum Contributor
Speedway Pass
May 28, 2014
3,034
4,057
1,036
Netherlands
This will be interesting for sure you have a lot of Millennial's and Generation Z targeted with costumes, role playing, gaming, and most likely tough for them because they love being theatrical, creative, and mixing everything.

Still there speaking about how you present your brand, colors, typing, music, the way your speaking. I suppose it wakes up a lot of parents to understand what their children are posting. Since I can't see a lot of high school and college students being able to pay the fine.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=By2sLjE-Y50
 

Here

Bronze Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Sep 6, 2019
150
201
145
There were two issues with YouTube vids:

1. Pedophiles stalking kids videos and grooming them in the comments section
2. Perverts creating vids of popular kid’s characters that instructed kids to harm themselves and stuff

YouTube ignored both issues until advertisers laid down the law.

If your video stars little kids or renderings of popular characters then you should be nervous. Otherwise, I don’t see this being a big deal.
 
Last edited:

Sponsored Offers

  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Fox Web School "Legend" Group Coaching Program 2021
I am going to test this for a month and see how it goes... If anyone wants to join using Crypto...
Introducing MJ's Personal Unscripted Network, Join Now for FREE!
If you are in IDEA mode, text "IDEA" to the above number. If you are in LAUNCH/START mode, text...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Lex DeVille's - Advanced Freelance Udemy Courses!
I have a long weekend off work.. bought your "Start a Freelance Business: Take Back Your...
MARKETPLACE Not sure how to start? This free book will teach you how to build a successful web design business
If there’s one thread I see repeated over and over again on the forum, it goes like this: “I...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE You Are One Call Away From Living Your Dream Life - LightHouse’s Accountability Program ⚡
Thanks for clearing that up. What do you recommend for those who are still in the process of...



Forum Sponsor

Over 100 Fastlane Students
More Details...

New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom