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COPPA, the FTC and Youtube content appealing to children.

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This topic contains 19 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  sundancer 6 months, 2 weeks ago.

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    Cult of Games Member

    I just watched this video regarding COPPA, the FTC and content that is appealing to children. This is coming from a court case involving Youtube, it basically lays out that there are more restrictions coming for Youtube regarding content that is appealing to children. I know most of our wargaming stuff is not made for children, but in the end it’s still toy soldiers and the FTC might look at it differently. I’m not sure how much impact it will have outside of the USA, but I feel that it definitely will have some. I’m not sure if @warzan other OTT members and other content creators are already aware of this.


    Cult of Games Member

    The DMCA stupidity had an impact on youtube outside of the USA.

    YouTube’s aggresive and unreliable algorythms were one of the reasons BoW was rebranded as OTT

    As such you can be pretty sure that this stuff will be felt world wide.
    And as always the good will suffer while the bad won’t notice.



    Cult of Games Member

    To be fair to YouTube if they fail to react to a DMCA Notice they’re breaking US Federal Law.


    Falsely filing a DMCA is a Federal Crime and it needs to be punished more seriously.


    YouTube’s algorithm is utterly insane. It casts this enormous net that will end up destroying the platform. L



    This is exactly why we built this platform.


    Cult of Games Member

    Just to throw this in the ring again: There are alternatives to YouTube. Vimeo being a prime example. Some YouTuber started “copying” their content to there just to have a backup should YouTube some day go berserk. (Or their accounts get hacked because that never happened before, right?)

    But there are two more that might be of interest.

    Floatplane – a Canadian company run by Linus from Linus Media Group. It’s similar to Vimeo but still very early in it’s workings. Basically you pay a subscription fee to see what your creator has done.

    Peertube – open source, decentralised network of video servers. That is called “Federation” or “Fediverse”. The good thing about this is: you can run your own server and it will stay connected to other servers so you still have a global reach. The bad thing is: everybody can run a server so there is potential for a lot of crap 😉 “PeerTube aspires to be a decentralized and free/libre alternative to video broadcasting services. Our aim is not to replace them, but rather to simultaneously offer something else, with different values.”

    That’s just food for thought…


    Cult of Games Member

    I really like Andy’s Hobby Headquarters – his enthusiasm is infectious and I’d like to have a pint with him.

    Watched this last night and the way he explains it, YouTube are being blamed for bad parenting.


    Cult of Games Member

    YouTube is blamed for bad (read: non existent) moderation. It’s literally a big bucket where everybody can pour their stuff in it. But Parents do have some role in this too. It’s a big burning dumpster fire.


    Cult of Games Member

    These days everyone is to blame EXCEPT the parents.


    Cult of Games Member


    I was wondering what will happen to video content due to the COPPA act which youtube are now inforced?


    Cult of Games Member

    I don’t see any way anyone besides YouTube could be fined under COPPA. Mis-labling a video isn’t an offence the collection of the Data is and since YouTube is collecting the Data they’re the one’s who will have to pay and they have no authority to levy a fine against you. They can shut your channel down if it breached the TOS but they can’t take your money.


    Cult of Games Member

    @elessar2590  The Terms and Conditions could allow a fee, different to a fine, to be imposed.

    Could be some people’s differences in language or misunderstanding calling it a fine.

    The result of not paying a fee could result in court proceedings or shutting down the channel or both.

    I got an email notification from YouTube of changes to their T&Cs on 9th November.  It mentioned YouTube Kids, so could be part of this…

    When I just logged into YouTube a moment ago, it did ask me if I wanted to try YouTube Kids.


    I told it No.


    Cult of Games Member

    The problem isn’t parents. It’s the type of over protective idiot who wants to tell others how to behave.

    It’s the activist groups who claim to speak for parents and either force companies to settle (and thereby providing the activist group with free money as none ever reaches the people they claim to represent) or result in the creation of silly laws by politicians with zero knowledge of the technological limitations, the scale and the human cost (you don’t want to be the one who has to see the things kids/adults should not see).

    Both the EU Cookie wall and DMCA are a excellent examples of this sort of thing.

    It may be technically illegal to make a false DMCA complaint, but I doubt the average content creator has the means to even consider fighting these incidents. Add to this that you need a lawyer who understands this sort of thing to begin with.

    I doubt COPPA will be any different.

    Never mind that there is no legal way to create an age gate that works, because you’d have to make websites ‘members only’ and require legal copies of Id’s to validate the age of your members.
    Net result is that sites catering to such content either shut down (because it’s not worth the effort) or go underground …




    From my own research and understanding, I think there are some misunderstandings with what is really going on.  This has nothing to do with “bad parenting”.

    First, COPPA is a very good thing.   And this isnt necessarily about “content appealing to children”, it is however directly because YouTube was knowingly breaking the law for years and lying about it.

    COPPA is very good.  It protects children under the age of 13 from huge corporations and other entities taking advantage of them.  COPPA protects kids by preventing corporations or anyone from tracking kids internet usage, building data bases, selling those data bases, and targeting kids from the use of that gathered info.  This is basically all about cookies, and tracking those cookies of children under 13.   Stopping this is a very good thing.  Everyone wants to prevent these sort of things from happening.  Just look at how much google tracks about your own usage as an adult, and what they do with it.  Now imagine corporations doing this to children.   This is a very good law, not perfect of course but still very good.

    YouTube, and google by extention , has been knowingly breaking this law for nearly ten years.   They have been gathering, recording, storing, and using data/cookies traffic generated by children under the age of 13 to target advertising directly towards those kids (along with selling that information).   Hence the reason they just settled a huge lawsuit.   They have been hiding behind their terms of service for years, saying that only 13+ can sign up and use youtube.  So since only 13+ can use the site, then COPPA doesnt apply to them.  This of course was the lie.  And to be clear, they knew it was a lie.  There are youtube channels that are primarily starred by children under 13.  They have been tracking analytics for years in regards to these children.

    Youtube has known for years that children under 13 have been using the site.  They’ve known because they have been tracking, recording, and building data bases.  They’ve known because they have profited off this information.  All of which is very much against COPPA.

    This is all about Youtube and them using the settlement to pass the burden from themselves to the content producers.  Why are they doing this.  Because they lied to the FTC for nearly a decade and the FTC no longer trusts YouTube or their algorithms to police their own website.  The FTC plans to do the policing on their own, using human hands/eyes.   Which is finally where the “content appealing to children” comes in.   Cause YouTube is terrified about humans doing the policing, and that those humans arent YouTube staff.  To much “open to interpretation” for YouTubes comfort.

    So to be clear this has nothing to do with the actual content in the video.  FTC isn’t concerned with whats on the videos, only whether or not children will watch them or not.   Why.   Because YouTube tracks, records, and uses data bases to target advertising, profit,  and push users towards certain content on their website.

    If children are going to watch that video (the videos subject is irreverent on its own), because it has “content appealing to children”, then youtube cant by law record or gather anything from those children watching that video.  So you see, its not the video thats the problem… its the gathering of user information from viewers under 13 of that video that is the problem.

    YouTube cant record anything, if they do they are breaking the law.  So those tracking/recording functions have to be shut off on any and all videos that children could be watching, or the law could be broken.   Again this is a good thing.   This is a good thing, which is proven by how hard YouTube willing to do anything… except simply shutting off user tracking on the website.  Which is literally all it would take to make all these COPPA problems go away… stop tracking/recording info of ALL users on youtube.

    The problems are not with COPPA.  The real problems come with the way YouTube and the FTC came to a settlement from the lawsuit.   In the settlement, YouTube was able to shift the burden from YouTube and onto the content producers…  some how.     YouTube threw their own content producers under the bus and never looked back.

    The next problem comes from the very vague, and unrealistic, list of what constitutes a video that would “appeal to children”.  The FTC needs to make it more clear what is and is not a video that would cause a violation if YouTubes recording/tracking algorithms aren’t turned off.    From my understanding these qualifications are not part of COPPA, they are fallout from the lawsuit and the need to police YouTube specifically (cause youtube wants to track/record ALL user data).

    COPPA isnt the enemy here.

    YouTube is the problem, and the way they now have to be policed by the government (because they cant be trusted and are too greedy to shut off user data tracking/recording).   Also, the FTC not putting enough thought into the criteria for declaring what content is and is not “appealing to children” is a problem that could seriously impact content producers.

    To my understanding, anyway.




    Cult of Games Member

    The fact that the words “is appealing to children” are a) part of COPPIA and b) very vague is exactly why COPPA is the problem. As with so many laws, it’s not the intent of COPPA that is the problem, it’s the scope for government overreach and how it could quite easily be abused.



    There is no way to know if a YouTube algorithm is targeting children or an adult.  If you watch many of the video game channels or anime channels are you a child or an adult?

    Second, COPPA is not specific to YouTube, the idea that you can just switch platforms and no longer have to comply makes no sense.  The question is how or what the enforcement lookd like.

    Most likely what we will see is more pay walls.  By having a pay wall, you are taking a credit card and have so reasonable belief that you are not targeting a child.  Can someone steal a credit card, sure, but the courts have ruled that this does not count.

    Both in the US and EU there is also an anti big tech sentiment with law suites at the state level on both continents.  What people do not realize is that privacy is dead.  If you are a good parent there a plenty of parental tools to block certain content including tracking cookies.

    Ads and tracking online is under attack in general.  There are already browsers that block all advertisement and tracking cookies out of the box.  People have been blocking ads for some time.  IMHO, we will see end of the free internet and more of paid content.  Just like you have Netflix for movies, you are going to subscription services for certain Internet content.

    Finally, “protect the children” is always the rallying cry for someone, some group or some government agency to do something stupid like censor or ban or limit freedom.  Going back to Prohibition in the USA, it started with “protect the children”.  Frankly, people need to push back.

    I raised two children both in college now.  I sit in the airport while I poorly type this on my phone.  Neither child was corrupted by the Internet.  Much of this was because my wife and I basically unplugged them from all electronic devices as much as we could and taught them to play board games, photography and arts and crafts.

    Far too many people involved in this legal action used bad information and emotions to ban something they do not like versus a real threat.  I will argue that the ban in the USA over vaping is an over reaction versus looking at the root cause of the deaths from vaping because when you want to pass a law it is always better to find a villain.

    I like to remind everyone at one time “the people who knew better” tried to ban Dungeons & Dragons, Pin Ball Machines were considered to be a gateway drug into higher level gambling and were banned in New York State into the mid 1990s, comic books were burned, Bugs Bunny was considered the gateway into violent children, the poster child for how bad video games are was Pac-Man.  What we have here is just the next boogeyman in a long line of false boogeymen because “if we save just one child” it will be all worth it!  Right?? or just just a false premise and false emotional crises in order to control speech and people by the government?

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