YouTube to roll out separate site for kids

YouTube to roll out separate site for kids
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Google announced on Wednesday that it would be creating a separate YouTube site to host videos for children, following accusations that the video-streaming site had been violating children’s privacy laws.

The site rolling out this week will be a web version of the YouTube Kids app that has been around since 2015, Google said in a blog post on Wednesday.

YouTube is also finalizing a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over charges that it had violated children’s privacy laws. Privacy groups that accused the company of illegally monetizing children’s videos and viewing data had pushed the agency to force YouTube to place all children’s videos on a standalone service.

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Another option that regulators were exploring was to force YouTube to designate what videos are intended for children in order to disable ads on them.

YouTube also announced on Wednesday that parents will be able to choose from three different age groups for their children in order to get age-appropriate content curated for them. 

“Our systems work hard to exclude content not suitable for each of these age categories, but not all videos have been manually reviewed,” the company wrote. "If you find something inappropriate that we missed, you can block it or flag it for fast review.”

Advocates hailed Wednesday's announcement but said Google needed to do more.

"If news reports are accurate that Google will stop targeted marketing to kids on YouTube, that’s a great step forward for protecting kids. And it’s encouraging that Google plans to expand their YouTube Kids platform from an app to a website," said David Monahan, campaign director for the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.

"But will they take the kids’ content off of the main YouTube site?  That’s where the great majority of kids do their viewing, and if Google will still show children’s content there, and collect kids’ data in violation of federal privacy law, then children will still be at risk," Monahan added.

Updated at 4:42 p.m.