If you have kids like I do, you probably celebrated the launch of YouTube Kids a few weeks ago, as it is definitely difficult to control what children can find on YouTube. The problem is when you find channels like McDonalds in the feed, which are clearly there to sell you products, and not with the sole purpose of providing children with educational content. This particular problem has raised a lot of fire around the concept of YouTube Kids, and today we learn that there are organizations ready to retaliate against Google.
A handful of child advocacy groups are ready to file a complaint against YouTube with the FTC, as they deem some of the content illegal according to a law that dates back to the 70s. The law bans hosts of a kids’ television series from attempting to sell products during a show, amongst other restrictions, and the reason for this is because young kids haven’t yet developed the reasoning behind resisting such advertisements, or even understand that they’re being targeted in the first place. Even if channels like McDonalds are providing children with information on how its McNuggets are made, the argument is that it blurs the lines between product placement, and educational content.
We’ll follow-up as we learn more about the results of this complaint.