Major changes to YouTube – comments and personalised ads removed from child-directed videos

Blogs January 8, 2020

Marketing and Consumer Protection

Major changes are coming to YouTube as comments, likes and personalised ads disappear from child-directed videos. All new and old videos should be tagged accordingly during the transition period.

At the start of this year, YouTube will change its policy on child-directed videos after receiving a giant sanction for violating COPPA, a policy that protects children’s privacy.

We have summarise the key changes below, but do not hesitate to ask us for more information.

With future changes:

  • Non-personalised ads (i.e., selected based on context) will continue to appear with child-directed content -> ads will not be removed completely

  • According to YouTube’s own examples, child-directed content typically focuses on the following themes: children or child-directed characters, popular children’s programs or animated characters, stories being performed with or without toys, child protagonists playing and/or imaginative play, and popular children’s songs, stories or poems.

  • It remains to be seen how smart the artificial intelligence used for monitoring content is. For example, how well can it recognise Nordic languages? I imagine that parodies, sketches and memes that feature, for example, popular animated characters will be in the grey area, even though the content is not directly aimed at children -> can the artificial intelligence recognise these genres?

  • Users will be able to report incorrect categorisations to YouTube, but it remains to be seen what the interpretation policy will be.

Our marketing law experts advise our clients on questions related to both digital marketing regulation and good practice in marketing. You can read more about these on our blog.