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Massive drop in views on kid channels

ilikeswords64

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I read the article. It's about a lawsuit, not about some new FTC regulation. So, I am still at a loss for what people are talking about that is changing children's channels on YT. The lawsuit itself is stupid as well. The lawsuit is about the collection of "Personal" information on children. It is stupid because, the only way Google can collect personal data on children, is if someone manually inputs this personal information. Google does not know the age of the person inputting the information, so how is it going to know that a child is inputting it? DUH! Telling google that they need to differentiate between data that is input by a child from that input by an adult is absurd. The only way google could achieve this is if they required a biometric facial scan to validate the age of the person inputting the data, and this would be a far greater breach of personal information, the potential abuse of which could be catastrophic.

This lawsuit is about one thing and one thing only. It is about parents not wanting to be responsible for managing, disciplining and teaching their children how to be safe online. Parents should not allow their kids to have unrestricted access to the internet. Any parent that does, should have their kids taken away for child abuse. I raised three kids in the last 20 years and still have a teenager at home. I taught my kids about the dangers of the internet and NEVER allowed them unsupervised access to it. They did not get smartphones until they were 16 and I had parental controls installed that restricted what they could do with their phones, and their phones had no data plans. They could not have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media account. They could only use internet access for educational purposes and I monitored every single communication. Any attempt to subvert my restrictions was met with indefinite bans from all forms of technology. If an account needed an account to be created, I created it using an alter ego that I invented for such purposes. At no point in time was their personal information EVER put out on the internet.

This mother that is suing, is a bad mother. She wants other people to be responsible for her kids. She does not want to accept the responsibility of protecting her kids, she wants everyone else to be responsible for protecting them. I have known so many lazy irresponsible parents like her. They just throw their kids out on the internet superhighway with no restrictions or training. They might as well give their kids the keys to their car and tell them to go drive on the interstate and expect nothing bad to happen to them.

But I still do not understand what everyone is squawking about. People keep referring to some new FTC ruling, but I can't find anything new that has happened.
I think that all of us agree with you on all points Jungle Explorer, but the key issue which you might not have heard yet is that YouTube was openly expressing to advertisers in closed-door meetings their ability to market to children under 13, and delved into those specific abilities quite a bit until they were caught. There was an understanding and acknowledgement of the issue - that is the biggest problem. Anyone with an understanding of behavioral advertising (there are many on this forum) knows that it operates based on the collection of user-specific data. There's a visible layer to us on the analytics side, and an even more in-depth layer on YouTube's side. YouTube is owned by an internet marketing behemoth, and this isn't a situation where kid creators were by any means the bread and butter of the company (Google makes most of their money through their search engine ad revenue and products). They can take a hit in profit. Complying with the law is more important and I think that we see it evidenced by the throttling we are experiencing. I think that they are trying to shake us off - it is a precursor to January. Ryan just made some serious channel adjustments, many kid creators (except Ryan and other diversified channels) are ramping down on new video frequency, and many have changed niche. It is time to be realistic. If you care about the money, perk up your ears to algorithmic trends outside of the kids niche and start fresh with the knowledge you have gained (they can't take that away from you). If you care about the kids, continue to produce content at greatly reduced profit, and take a second job to put food on the table. It sounds harsh but I'm trying to encourage this mindset so that creators aren't going to be devastated in January.
 
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ilikeswords64

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The lawmakers sure are - https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FTC-2019-0054-0275. This is an uphill battle. In a year we'll see the age bar raised even higher and more strict rules. Senator of Massachusetts wants to raise those protected by COPPA to 15 - https://www.markey.senate.gov/news/press-releases/senators-markey-and-hawley-introduce-bipartisan-legislation-to-update-childrens-online-privacy-rules. At that cap you might as well switch to a gaming niche channel.
 

Jungle Explorer

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I think that all of us agree with you on all points Jungle Explorer, but the key issue which you might not have heard yet is that YouTube was openly expressing to advertisers in closed-door meetings their ability to market to children under 13, and delved into those specific abilities quite a bit until they were caught. There was an understanding and acknowledgement of the issue - that is the biggest problem. Anyone with an understanding of behavioral advertising (there are many on this forum) knows that it operates based on the collection of user-specific data. There's a visible layer to us on the analytics side, and an even more in-depth layer on YouTube's side. YouTube is owned by an internet marketing behemoth, and this isn't a situation where kid creators were by any means the bread and butter of the company (Google makes most of their money through their search engine ad revenue and products). They can take a hit in profit. Complying with the law is more important and I think that we see it evidenced by the throttling we are experiencing. I think that they are trying to shake us off - it is a precursor to January. Ryan just made some serious channel adjustments, many kid creators (except Ryan and other diversified channels) are ramping down on new video frequency, and many have changed niche. It is time to be realistic. If you care about the money, perk up your ears to algorithmic trends outside of the kids niche and start fresh with the knowledge you have gained (they can't take that away from you). If you care about the kids, continue to produce content at greatly reduced profit, and take a second job to put food on the table. It sounds harsh but I'm trying to encourage this mindset so that creators aren't going to be devastated in January.

I read what you wrote. Nothing that you said, is unusual. This is what I am confused about. We all know that all internet advertising is "Targeted". We tried non-targeted internet advertising back in the 1990s and it was proven to not work, and almost killed the internet. When the dot-com bubble popped in 2000, it was clear companies were not going to invest in the internet unless they had clear ways of measuring the success of their investment. It was out of the dot-com bubble crash that advertizers started developing ways to demonstrate the effectiveness of advertising dollars through targeted ads based on tracking people browsing habits. Thus was born Big Data.

We all know this. That companies are tracking people to better understand them so they can deliver targeted advertising (which is the lifeblood of the internet), is common knowledge. As I said in my earlier post, there is no way for any internet company to know the age of the person inputting data, so it is impossible for them to differentiate between data input by a 70-year-old or a 5-year-old. The only possible way they could do this would to be to forcefully require everyone to submit to some form of live biometric scanning, which would be an invasion of privacy and security risk of such monumental proportions that it defies description.

What I am saying is, I hear everyone saying "There is a Boogyman" but I am asking where the Boogyman is. I don't see the problem everyone is complaining about and am asking someone to explain to me what it is. The bottom line is, People, want stuff for free. NOTHING is free. Somebody has to pay for it somewhere. The simple fact is, without targeted advertising, YouTube and 95% of the rest of the internet would go away. This idea that people should produce good children's content for free with no expectation of a return is a fantasy. Even PBS needs money to produce good content.
 

ilikeswords64

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As I said in my earlier post, there is no way for any internet company to know the age of the person inputting data, so it is impossible for them to differentiate between data input by a 70-year-old or a 5-year-old. The only possible way they could do this would to be to forcefully require everyone to submit to some form of live biometric scanning, which would be an invasion of privacy and security risk of such monumental proportions that it defies description.

What I am saying is, I hear everyone saying "There is a Boogyman" but I am asking where the Boogyman is. I don't see the problem everyone is complaining about and am asking someone to explain to me what it is. The bottom line is, People, want stuff for free. NOTHING is free. Somebody has to pay for it somewhere. The simple fact is, without targeted advertising, YouTube and 95% of the rest of the internet would go away. This idea that people should produce good children's content for free with no expectation of a return is a fantasy. Even PBS needs money to produce good content.
The issue and major reason for the lawsuit still exists outside of usage. Regardless of whether or not YouTube could see either a little human or a big human commenting or pressing the like button, they bragged about knowing. They directly identified as having the information to advertisers. Despite the fact that that information was probably the same information that they are using on 1-JAN to determine who is a child (yes, it is an algorithm change based on an assumption), lawmakers don't care about the mechanics. They care about what YouTube said on what later became record, and YouTube could actually have that information in a more defined or organized way than the assumption algorithm that I just mentioned. Neither we nor the FTC knows. But YouTube stuck their foot in their mouth, that is for sure. This is going to get progressively worse.
 

Jungle Explorer

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The issue and major reason for the lawsuit still exists outside of usage. Regardless of whether or not YouTube could see either a little human or a big human commenting or pressing the like button, they bragged about knowing. They directly identified as having the information to advertisers. Despite the fact that that information was probably the same information that they are using on 1-JAN to determine who is a child (yes, it is an algorithm change based on an assumption), lawmakers don't care about the mechanics. They care about what YouTube said on what later became record, and YouTube could actually have that information in a more defined or organized way than the assumption algorithm that I just mentioned. Neither we nor the FTC knows. But YouTube stuck their foot in their mouth, that is for sure. This is going to get progressively worse.
I feel like we are getting closer, but something is missing. If I am understanding you correctly, you are saying that YouTube claimed that they could sell targeted advertising to children, and I am guessing that somewhere somehow, this is looked as being bad. This is where I am lost. Targeted advertising is the ONLY way on the internet. There is no OTHER way. You cannot sell ads UNLESS they are targeted. No company will buy non-targeted ads on the internet. That is just the way it is. So again, I fail to see the "Boogyman" here.

Children have been targeted for advertising since the INVENTION of advertising! When I was four years old, I saw a cowboy pistol set in a Sears & Roebuck Catalog (yes, I am that old). It looked so COOL! I saved my birthday money from my grandma for three years to be to buy that set. Children are targeted in every cartoon ever made, through the sale of associated toys and merchandise. So again, I fail to see the boogyman here.

I hear what you are saying, but what I don't understand is what the "Problem" is. That is what I need help understanding. You said "This is going to get progressively worse.". WHAT is going to get worse? HOW, is it going to get worse? WHY, is it going to get worse?
 

ilikeswords64

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somewhere somehow, this is looked as being bad. This is where I am lost. Targeted advertising is the ONLY way on the internet. There is no OTHER way. You cannot sell ads UNLESS they are targeted. No company will buy non-targeted ads on the internet. That is just the way it is. So again, I fail to see the "Boogyman" here.

Children have been targeted for advertising since the INVENTION of advertising! When I was four years old, I saw a cowboy pistol set in a Sears & Roebuck Catalog (yes, I am that old). It looked so COOL! I saved my birthday money from my grandma for three years to be to buy that set. Children are targeted in every cartoon ever made, through the sale of associated toys and merchandise. So again, I fail to see the boogyman here.

I hear what you are saying, but what I don't understand is what the "Problem" is. That is what I need help understanding. You said "This is going to get progressively worse.". WHAT is going to get worse? HOW, is it going to get worse? WHY, is it going to get worse?
The somewhere and somehow is in the eyes of the law unfortunately - YouTube sales team screwed up. There's been a paradigm shift in the rules around advertising and the depth of information that can be collected from an individual since you bought that pistol. All of that said, believe it or not, I agree with you. I've got kids, and I have to say that I've never really been offended if an ad for pokemon came up because they understood that my child liked pokemon. It is ultimately my decision to tell them that they are or are not getting it for Christmas. If cigarette ads were coming up, that'd be a different conversation, and they probably will be coming with all of the scrambling that is going to happen due to these changes. I've worked in digital marketing for many years, have collaborated with many of the scary big data companies that everyone talks about, used CRM's and marketing automation platforms, etc. I have first-hand knowledge of and understand the extent in which the data is used. None of these companies are pulling up in white vans and pulling kids off of the street with this data (one of the original reasons for COPPA), and if my kids aren't going to want the new toy from the behaviorally targeted ad, they are going to want the one from the non-behavioral TV ad. Stripping away our livelihoods isn't going to prevent kids and their immature prefrontal cortexes from being manipulated by advertisements for toys and cereal. The thing is, there's a difference between a Hasbro or a Spinmaster wanting to advertise to your kids through knowledge of their demographic versus, let's say, a political organization or thought leadership group trying to change their ideologies. The thing is, I don't really see that happening in the kids niche, but it CAN happen given the data. I can go and run an ad right now if I want to (as long as Google approves the copy/creative). To answer your questions directly - the problem is that they broke the law. It'll get progressively worse because child privacy is something that any and all politicians will latch onto (that senator of Massachusetts link a few posts above was bi-partisan by the way). It'll also get progressively worse because the vast majority (YouTube creators are the minority) of the population concerned in this matter are parents who absolutely will drink the kool-aid of the concept that they are doing something greater by providing their children with more privacy, even if unknowingly they are making the situation worse by damaging the landscape of the YouTube kids niche. Lawmakers are circling the wagons around kid creators, and they + many privacy groups are aiming to raise the age of protection for COPPA beyond 13. There was a time when this market segment was lucrative, fresh, and ripe for opportunity. I feel very strongly that the line chart on kids content through YouTube only goes downward now.
 
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Jungle Explorer

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Thank you for taking the time to clear this up for me. So this really is a Boogyman issue. Nothing is actually wrong, but people are fearing the monster under the bed and politicians are capitalizing on this fear to gain brownie points with their constituents. The victims of course, are the hardworking youtubers that have done nothing wrong. Figures.

I understand the whole "They broke the law" thing. It cost me a fine just today on my etsy store. I started an etsy store back in June and had to open a new State business to get a sales tax ID because in the State of Texas, because you have to do this if you sale more then TWO items or $50 a year for online (I kid you not). I have not sold a single item yet, so I own no taxes, but I got fined for not filing my Quarterly taxes in time after the end of September. I called the state up this morning and I was like, "why do I have to file if I have not sold a single thing. I owe nothing, so I am not depriving the state of taxes by not filing." They said, "It does not matter if you owe us, the LAW says you have to file every quarter."

I can't tell you how much I hate stupid, irrational, government bureaucracy right now. It is not kid-friendly, that's for sure.
 
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