According to a report from The Wall Street Journal earlier today, YouTube is thinking about moving all children’s content to the standalone YouTube Kids service. The possible changes are reportedly under discussion, though no imminent action is expected.
Some executives at Google want to make the move to better protect younger viewers from objectionable content. However, some YouTube employees reportedly want to go a different direction and turn off YouTube’s recommendations system for children’s content. Even though people will click on seemingly-innocent content, the recommendations system might automatically send them to an inappropriate video with the “Up Next” feature.
To try and remedy things, Google CEO Sundar Pichai has reportedly become personally involved in YouTube’s day-to-day operations. Pichai had supposedly not done so during his four-year tenure as Google CEO.
When asked for comment, a YouTube spokesperson told Android Authority the following:
We consider lots of ideas for improving YouTube and some remain just that — ideas. Others, we develop and launch, like our restrictions to minors live streaming or updated hate speech policy.
The report comes in the wake of several recent high-profile missteps and troubling incidents for YouTube.
Back in March, the mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand and related videos were often found on the platform. Earlier this month, a report from The New York Times found that YouTube’s algorithms will suggest borderline content to those seeking pedophilic videos.
Also in early June, Vox video producer Carlos Maza publicly criticized YouTube for not taking action against conservative commentator Steven Crowder. In his videos, Crowder used slurs about Maza’s ethnicity and sexual orientation.
In response to the ongoing issues on its platform, YouTube announced plans to remove thousands of videos and channels that advocate neo-Nazism, white supremacy, and other extreme views. YouTube also said it would ramp up enforcement of its updated policies.
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