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Is Youtube Done For?

Starting January 2020, YouTube will be making changes to its platform in recognition of regulations imposed by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA.

After the changes take place, videos will be marked either "safe for kids" or "not safe for kids."

Videos marked safe for kids will not send notifications to your subscribers, will not be able to have comments, will not be searchable on YouTube, will not be Suggested/Recommended, and will not receive targeted ads.

In case you don't know how YouTubers make money, roughly 60-90% of their revenue comes from targeted ads. This means that if a YouTuber marks videos "safe for kids," they are unable to get their video advertised, thus making less people aware of their video, and are making a minimum of 60% less money on their video. And this not only applies to videos posted after January first, but EVERY SINGLE VIDEO ever posted on the channel. If you mark your video "not safe for kids," you won't have any of the above subjected to your videos, however you can be fined up to $42,500 for each video marked incorrectly.

This enters a massive grey area, as the criteria for needing to mark videos "safe for kids" is extremely vague. The factors to consider as of now are: the subject matter of the video, if children are the intended audience, if it includes child actors of models, if it includes characters, celebrities, or toys that appeal to children, if it uses language that is meant for children to understand, if it includes activities that appeal to children,or if it includes songs, stories, or poems that appeal to children.

Some of this stuff is just too vague to enforce. Take "if it includes activities that appeal to children" for instance. Children like video games, right? This could mean that every single gaming channel has to have their videos marked "safe for kids" from now on, right? So with every video making possible 90% less money, how would it be possible for gaming channels to make a living on YouTube? Or let's look at "if it includes characters, celebrities, or toys that appeal to children." Animation channels often have simplistic, friendly looking characters appealing to children. Even if the content is not meant for children, it may still get fined if marked "not safe for kids" because the characters look kid-friendly.

If COPPA goes through as-is, many if not most YouTubers will be either be unable to make a living off of content creation or be forced to change their content to a form that can make ad revenue. As it stands right now, the regulations are set to go into effect January 1st, 2020. Below is a link to leave a comment on COPPA and a petition to cancel it. If you watch YouTube, I can guarantee some of the content you want will be adversely affected by the COPPA regulations. I urge you to leave a comment about it and/or sign the petition to stop the regulations.

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