×

YouTube Bans Kids From Live-Streaming Video Unless Accompanied by an Adult

YouTube is taking additional steps to restrict the possibility that children will be targeted by predators on the video platform — including banning young kids from live-streaming without adult supervision.

The Google-owned video platform, in a blog post Monday, also said it is limiting recommendations of videos that depict “minors in risky situations.” The updated policies come after YouTube in February announced that it would disable the ability to leave comments on nearly all videos featuring kids.

The announcement also comes in the wake of a New York Times report Monday, citing research that YouTube’s recommendation system has been suggesting videos of “prepubescent, partially clothed children” to users who had watched sexually themed content. According to YouTube, it has applied new restrictions to the algorithm-based recommendations system curbing recommendations of videos with minors to “tens of millions of videos.” However, it will continue recommending many videos with children because an all-out ban would hurt creators who rely on the recommendation engine to generate views, according to YouTube.

YouTube has been targeted by critics for years over its inability to stop the spread of inappropriate content and behavior on the platform as it relates to minors. Earlier this year, a scandal involving sexually coded comments left by child predators on certain videos led several big brands to suspend their advertising.

Popular on Variety

On the live-streaming front, YouTube said it is banning live-streamed broadcasts by children “unless they are clearly accompanied by an adult.” YouTube added that it has added new artificial-intelligence classifiers in recent months for live video to “find and remove more of this content.” Channels that run afoul of the updated policy may lose their ability to live stream.

“Responsibility is our number one priority, and chief among our areas of focus is protecting minors and families,” YouTube said in the blog post. “With this update, we’ll be able to better identify videos that may put minors at risk and apply our protections” across a bigger segment of videos.

According to YouTube, the “vast majority” of videos featuring minors on the service “do not violate our policies and are innocently posted.” Still, there’s a large number of videos that do: In the first quarter of 2019, YouTube said, it removed more than 800,000 videos for violations of our child-safety policies (claiming the majority of those were deleted before they had 10 views).

YouTube also noted that it works with law-enforcement agencies to investigate crimes against children. It said reports sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children prompted more than 6,000 such investigations in the past two years.

More Digital

  • GDC

    Next Month's GDC Cancelled After Companies Pull Out Over Coronavirus Concerns

    The annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) scheduled for next month in San Francisco has been cancelled after multiple companies said they were sitting it out over fears of the coronavirus outbreak. However, GDC organizers said they planned to hold an event later this summer. GDC was set to run March 16-20 at the Moscone Center [...]

  • Netflix in Nigeria

    Netflix's Head of African Originals Lays Out Streamer's Plans for the Continent (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos and a team of high-level executives have spent the week crisscrossing the African continent, wooing local creators and touting plans to thrust the continent center-stage as the streaming giant’s first African original series, “Queen Sono,” drops worldwide on Friday. Sarandos took the mic at a splashy event in Lagos [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Everything Coming to Netflix in March

    Netflix is adding a robust line-up of popular programs to its slate in March. In addition to rom-coms like Matthew Mcconaughey’s “Ghosts of Girlfriend’s Past,” “He’s Just Not That Into You” and “Always a Bridesmaid,” the streamer is also adding a few classics like “Goodfellas” and “The Shawshank Redemption” starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins. [...]

  • Illustration of the video streaming company

    Coronavirus Spread Benefits Netflix, Other 'Stay-at-Home' Companies, Analysts Say

    Amid fears over a global economic slowdown from the widening coronavirus outbreak, companies like Netflix that provide in-home services are best positioned to withstand the storm or even see upside from the crisis, according to industry analysts. Netflix “is an obvious beneficiary if consumers stay home due to coronavirus (COVID-19 virus) concerns, and this has [...]

  • YouTube TV

    YouTube TV Is Dropping Fox Regional Sports Nets, YES Network After Sinclair Standoff

    YouTube TV, Google’s internet pay-TV service, said it will drop the Fox regional sports networks and the YES Network from customer lineups this Saturday, Feb. 29 — citing an impasse in negotiations with Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns the RSNs. “We purchase rights from Sinclair to distribute content to you,” the YouTube TV account said [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content