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Cubing on youtube is over with COPPA

White KB

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Guys cubing content is not for kids, yes kids watch it but when we make videos we don’t think ‘hey I hope the kids enjoy this’ we think ‘hey look at this new cube/alg/solve I hope this interests someone’ I’d say the average age for cubers is around 13 and this is targeting people under 13. Also most cubing channels are too small to get attention no one at YouTube or COPPA is thinking ‘hey that XYZcuber is taking advantage of his 200 subscribers who may be younger than 13’ they are trying to stop big corporate channels that manipulate their younger audience like the toy channels where children ‘review’ toys but really the parents have just found a way of getting easy money and if worst comes to worst just start your video saying crap or something then it can’t be for kids can it.
Agreed.
This is a reason to make a platform specifically for cubing vids
But you can't make money off of it, that's the problem...
But to actually do that would take ages and new cubers would be unlikely to find it which would mean the Cubers on YouTube don't really know what they are talking about but they get views so bad information is more likely to spread through the community.

I'm not sure a Google form is going to get many signatures, I assume someone has already made a change.org petition for this that would be more likely to change things.
Change.org? Never heard of it. Maybe I'll check it out.
This really is not a good predicament for the community as we provide a wide range of subjects for almost every age. And because of this stupid idea, Cubeorithms will no longer to be able to animate, for example!
I love Cubeorithms animations! Sad to see them go...
Soooooo much misunderstanding up above, so let me see if I can clear some stuff up:

1) COPPA is not a group or person. "COPPA" isn't doing anything to anyone. COPPA is the name of an American law aimed at protecting the privacy of children under 13. It has been in effect for nearly 20 years. Google and Youtube have been violating the law for a long, long time and are finally falling into line. It is a law with a valid, important purpose and not at all "stupid".

2) You will not get fined if you mark your content as "not for kids" and it ends up being for kids. If you have a cubing channel and mark it as "not for kids", you're good to go. The problem arises if you mark it "ok for kids" and then publish content that isn't OK for kids. That's where the $42,500 fines come from. Even then, the likelihood of actually getting hit with the fine is really, really small. Mostly what will happen is that Youtube, through their AI, will automatically flag you video as not for kids and that will be that.

3) The disabling of comments on videos for kids is not to protect from bullying. Well, that's maybe 1% of it. The main purpose is to stop the comment sections of videos from being used by predators seeking victims. Currently, the comment sections at Youtube are a haven for gross behavior of that nature.

4) The main effect of this law will be a reduction in ad revenue for a lot of channels. A major effect of COPPA is to make targeted advertising impossible for many demographics. This is because, before the enforcement of the COPPA law, advertisers were (illegally) using the private information of children under 13 (like browsing history, internet searches, etc) to deliver personalized ads. That won't happen anymore. So the ads displayed will be much more generic and, therefore, far less valuable. So, less ad money for channels that are monetized.

For the most part, this is going to be much ado about nothing. There will still be tons of cubing channels putting out content.
Wait guys, I get it now.
This has blown over for me.
I can just mark all of my videos "Not for kids".
Bingo!
Well, that cleared things up. Thanks, @Tabe.
(The things I said above I just had in multi-quote, sorry about that.)

Well, I'll be back to posting regularly and such...
 

mark49152

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The problem arises if you mark it "ok for kids" and then publish content that isn't OK for kids. That's where the $42,500 fines come from.
You sure? I'm no expert, but I thought it was the other way around. If you fail to mark a child-directed video as "made for kids", but kids end up watching it and consequently YT illegally gather their personal info and deliver them personalised ads, you can be fined.

The issue for cubing is whether cubing content is "child-directed". In my opinion, most of it is not. Cubing isn't specifically targeted at under-13s, even if some happen to like it, and the great majority of cubers are over 13. Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer so don't take that as legal advice :)
 

Deadloxz

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I get how they are trying to protect kids privacy and protect them from predators. But there are other ways to fix this and currently it is looking bad for a ton of content creators in general not just cubing.
 

ThatGuy

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From what I'm reading, you're not safe if you just mark your videos not for kids. YouTube plans to use its algorithms to automatically find videos it believes are aimed for kids (even if you mark not for kids, Youtube's algorithm may belive you made an error). Cubing will likely be affected because cubes are colorful toys (two supposed criteria YouTube might be looking for), and thus cubing videos will likely be automatically found to be aimed for kids. Video game content creators are similarly concerned.

Edit: to clarify further, it seems there are 2 things going on. First, the FTC's goal is to 'protect' children with COPPA. If there is a video that a child may find appealing, the FTC doesn't want that video to have targeted ads, comments, etc. Second, Youtube's answer to these new rules is the system where you mark your video for kids or not. But, this relies on content creators willing losing revenue and marking their potential videos for kids.

Let's say someone who makes minecraft videos doesn't want to lose ad revenue, so they mark their video not for kids. But, kids find minecraft appealing, so they watch the video, and it has targeted ads, comments, etc. Then, that creator is in trouble with the FTC for violating COPPA. That is where the 42k$ fine comes in. It doesn't seem to matter what the creator believes their audience is, it matters what the FTC thinks are for kids (and the guidelines are very vague, which is part of the reason so many people are concerned).
 
Last edited:

Tabe

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You sure? I'm no expert, but I thought it was the other way around. If you fail to mark a child-directed video as "made for kids", but kids end up watching it and consequently YT illegally gather their personal info and deliver them personalised ads, you can be fined.
Having done more reading, no, I'm not sure. I've seen it both ways.

FYI, I've reached out to Phil @ The Cubicle to see what he has to say.

What I don't get is why the content creator would be at fault because Google & Youtube are delivering targeted advertising at someone. Creators aren't the ones delivering the ads.

The FTC is taking comments. You can submit yours here:


If you do choose to comment:

1) BE RESPECTFUL. No profanity, etc.

2) PROOFREAD.


If you care, here is the comment I submitted:

I am writing to comment specifically on the FTC settlement with Google/Youtube and the COPPA compliance mechanisms being put into place by Youtube as pertains to content creators on that platform. While I support the intent of the COPPA law, the enforcement of the settlement is problematic in a few ways:

1) The guidelines for content "for kids" are extremely vague. This particularly applies to "gray area" channels like channels whose content consists of videos regarding toys or games directed to adults but with appeal to kids. This could include video game channels, nostalgia channels, or toy/gaming channels such as those dedicated to the Rubik's Cube.

2) It is unfair to place the burden on the content creator when those creators are not the ones delivering ads. Google and Youtube are the ones delivering ads and they are own the owners of the platform. They are able, at the account and access level, to determine the age of the person using Youtube and alter their content delivery without involving the content creator. Such a method would be a more fair, more accurate way of protecting the privacy and safety of children than putting an unfair burden on the creators of the content.

3) The method for determination of whether content is "for kids" - machine learning and AI - is fraught with issues, open to abuse, and notoriously inaccurate. Youtube currently uses similar systems for determining copyright and those systems routinely flag things incorrectly. It is simply not fair or just to potentially impact a person's livelihood based on the whims of an unproven, not publicly transparent, AI system for flagging content.

4) The currently outlined implementation of Youtube's COPPA compliance does not specify any method for appealing directly to an actual human being at Youtube nor does it specify timeframes for Youtube to respond to issues or complaints. In addition, there is no policy or plan in place to compensate creators whose channels are wrongly negatively impacted by the changes. Content creators should not suffer a non-recoverable loss of income because Youtube's AI system incorrectly flags a video as being for kids when it is not. I would strongly request that Youtube be required to implement an appeal system wherein a content creator can directly speak - not just email or form communications but actually speak - to a live person in order to appeal the labeling of their videos.

Respectfully submitted.

FYI, I've reached out to Phil @ The Cubicle to see what he has to say.
I spoke to Phil and he was not comfortable with giving what could be perceived as legal advice.
 

Sion

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The issue with COPPA is that kids are autonomous themselves. If a child wants to watch something, they will watch it. This goes for every video on YouTube. If a child wants to watch a video that isn’t explicitly made for them, they will most likely watch it.

The flaw of logic is that it’s so easy to get around these laws. If a child watches something they aren’t supposed to watch, data will be collected on them, which really jeopardizes all parties involved. It really goes down to this:children will watch children’s channels, children and adults will watch adult channels because children want to feel grown up.
As a consequence, YouTube will collect data on the child anyway.

I’ll create a little game to explain the absurdity of this rule. Let’s call it Little Mikey.
The room is filled with eleven people. Three are card collectors, six are neutral card givers, one is a card giver called Little Mikey, and the other is the informant. The card collectors are all informed by the informant of three things that all seven card givers *might* like. Each card collector must list five things that they think will give them the most cash. In turn, each cash giver will write a list of five things that they like. Each match on the lists is one card. However, if anyone collects a card from Little Mikey, they lose all their cards and are eliminated from The game Whoever has the most cards wins.
 

teboecubes

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I was just thinking about this idea of whether cubing content is "for kids." Obviously it's not the "Ryan Toys Review Kinder Egg surprise LOL Frozen Elsa Unbox" that Youtube/COPPA is trying to weed out, but there are under 13 cubers that watch cubing videos, and i would be lying if i said i didn't expect kids to watch my content. I put "not for kids" on my (already unmonetized) channel, because it's not made FOR kids, (and because i want to have comments, reccomendations, endscreens available lol)
 

Tabe

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COPPA is not dumb. It is a necessary and favorable act. The problem is the way YouTube(and Google, but that's another discussion) is implementing it.
Exactly. Google and Youtube should be enforcing some kind of age gate on their sites and apps, similar to what Facebook does (supposedly, you can't have a Facebook account unless you're 13). They could then adjust the collection of data and delivery of ads based on the user's age. And, if users aren't logged into Youtube, treat them as if they're under 13. Problem solved.
 

Sion

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Exactly. Google and Youtube should be enforcing some kind of age gate on their sites and apps, similar to what Facebook does (supposedly, you can't have a Facebook account unless you're 13). They could then adjust the collection of data and delivery of ads based on the user's age. And, if users aren't logged into Youtube, treat them as if they're under 13. Problem solved.
Easier said then done. Many people make accounts When they are below the age minimum and falsify their age. I remember making a YouTube account back when I was 10 and I set it so it said my birthday was in 1972 instead of in 2001.
 

Tabe

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Easier said then done. Many people make accounts When they are below the age minimum and falsify their age. I remember making a YouTube account back when I was 10 and I set it so it said my birthday was in 1972 instead of in 2001.
Of course it's easier said than done. But, with the sums of money at stake, and Google's vast database of information, it's hardly insurmountable.
 

DarkSavage

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So... If I don't make videos for money and I don't care whether people comment on them or not, can't I just mark my videos as 'for kids' and move on with my life?
People over 13("not kids") cannot watch content marked as "for kids"
 
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