By Chand Bellur
May 27, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. PT
- Launched in early 2015, YouTube Kids attempted to provide safe, child-friendly streaming video content.
- The video service faced issues with explicit content inserted into children’s videos; however, better parental controls and curation have eased the problem.
- Today, YouTube launched its video streaming service for children on Apple TV.
YouTube Kids Provides Safer Content for Youth
The Internet is a wild place, and Google is quite liberal when it comes to moderation. The search giant realizes that people have different interests. One person’s treasure is another’s trash.
Of course, it’s necessary to protect children from much of the Internet, which is like a virtual landfill of objectionable content. YouTube Kids launched in February of 2015 to provide a safer video portal for kids.
Original content created by amateurs and semi-professionals is YouTube’s main appeal. Although the service now integrates video sales and rentals, it’s not where most people go to binge-watch Game of Thrones. YouTube is where you watch a DIY video, product reviews, and other programming outside of Hollywood’s reach. Some networks have even picked up shows that started on YouTube.
Kids have a variety of interests and hobbies. Unfortunately, a lot of children’s programming consists of mindless, idiotic, and violent cartoons. YouTube Kids offers a much broader experience, where children can learn and work on projects beyond the screen.
Explicit Content Infiltrates YouTube Kids
YouTube’s children’s video service is not perfect. Google owns and operates the video streaming portal, employing their typical automated practices.
The problem is that their process allowed explicit content to sneak into children’s videos. Malicious publishers would insert traumatizing footage into children’s videos, posting them on YouTube. Children watching these programs experienced gory and frightening content. The controversy, known as Elsagate, resulted in the mass deletion of offending YouTube channels.
YouTube responded to the controversy by asserting that its children’s apps and website have parental controls. Parents can lock down the app and curate video content for their children. By default, however, YouTube Kids may offer children a bit too much freedom. The service also added more human curation, including a video channel entirely supervised by real people, not algorithms.
Google has gone to great lengths to clean up YouTube Kids and make it easier for parents to control the experience. The app is safe and child-friendly, offering broader access to content beyond the network and cable TV experience.
YouTube Kids Available on Apple TV
Starting today, households with fourth or fifth-generation Apple TVs (any model with the App Store) can download the YouTube Kids app for free. Simply launch the App Store and install the YouTube Kids app. Make sure to adjust parental controls to appropriate settings for your children.