YouTube Kid’s content. Is it good for a child’s mental growth?

YouTube Kid’s content. Is it good for a child’s mental growth?

May 13, 2020 1 By Hifza Khan

Being part of the 21st century, everyone is busy earning their livelihood and less time for families, bringing negligence to the look after kids. Kids mostly spend their leisure time using gadgets or watching their favorite content. Cartoon series, movies, or what they like, but they are not monitored for what they are watching. YouTube is the most significant source of all this content for years. YouTube Kid’s Content App first released in February 2015 only for iOS and Android mobiles. Later in September 2019, it was released for Smart TVs as well. With the objective that YouTube Kids App will provide filtered content because the targeted audience is kids.

The company had a stance that: “Search gives users, access to YouTube’s main database of videos. But that YouTube Kid’s results are automatically filtered for safe content.” The benefit moreover gives grown-ups a run of parental controls, counting the capacity to debilitate look totally, restrain screen time and cap the volume. Google has crippled comments on the benefit but displays a few kid-friendly advertisements.

YouTube kid's logo

All these claims, a company holds. The reality was different and a complete disaster. YouTube Kid’s content was not meant to be friendly with the kid’s mindset. This discussion became a hot topic all over social media in 2017. The company faced so many difficulties regarding the content.

Why it didn’t satisfy the term “YouTube kid’s Content”?

I was searching out the YouTube Kid’s Content and after reading long articles on it. I realized that the content is mostly a reproduction of the same thing. From cartoons to nursery rhymes or DIY hacks, the content creators are just creating the same content again and again in bulks and pissing off the main objective of the Kid’s separate mainstream. The primary purpose of most of the content is to join the marathon of followers/subscribers. To meet specific hashtag #.

We know that YouTube has been a source of user-generated substance for a long time, and it effectively locked in hundreds of thousands of kid’s eyeballs by fair remixing of well-known cartoon arrangements with violence and cruel acts again and again. They call it YouTube Kid’s content.

In a scorching post at Medium post writer arguing that the content represents

“A kind of violence inherent in the combination of digital systems and capitalist incentives”.

James Bridle

The only thing the content creators are focusing on is to maximize the revenue by programming algorithms or using keywords searching techniques. How this happens?. A question may arise in your minds so, let me clarify this that whenever a content creator wanted to make something, they search for the most views/likes a video/topic get by examining the appropriate keywords because their ultimate motivation is just to hit the mass audience regardless of the content side effects on the young fresh minds.

Is it worth spending hours on YouTube Kid’s app?

In this world full of gadgets and technologies:

  • what if your kid is spending so much time staring at the screen?
  • what he/she is absorbing from that?
  • Is it good/bad for the mental well being?
  • Being a parent, you should have the right to control the content your kid is watching?
  • Influencing your kids’ cravings regarding toys, clothes, or gadgets?

 Digging down each question

1). YouTube kid’s content is designed in such a way that a kid should get addicted to that. One would watch it again and again. Content includes colorful themes, characters, haunting voices with exciting sounds, and beeps that make a kid fall in love. Despite this cheesy outlook of a video, it is one of the reasons for wasting your kid’s hours on watching such irrelevant but catchy themed videos. They last for hours with unimportant stuff. You can say that your kid is consuming a keyword search soup.

2). Most of the videos end up with the content full of violence ( Peppa Pig videos) initially, they do not have intensity, but the versions of Peppa Pig on YouTube kids are full of violence depicting truly a wrong text. Else they contain toy unboxing, which is somehow rare to get for a typical kid, though. Kids may get violent or crazy about certain things, and most of the time, it ends up being resilient about their demands. Because of the involvement of visuals of toys, kids may pester their parents to buy those toys for them, but many of them don’t have enough pennies to afford.

peppa pig violence
Image from Peppapig,depicting violence in YouTube kid’s Version

3). Parents must have the right to control what is good /bad for their children. They should allow them some creative content that is healthy for their mind building and thinking capability growth. Instead of allowing the app to define what a kid tempts to watch, allow them a time that is worth watching and must be finite.

Affecting Child’s mental growth

YouTube Kid’s content is getting on their nerves like an addiction and relating it to my own experience in my childhood. “Parents were more concerned about their kids so that we might not spend our time on TVs, and they have proper checks and balances on what we are watching.”

Kid’s nowadays are becoming more violent, gadget oriented, or you can say that they believe in machines more than humans because continuously watching the same stuff, again and again, makes them think that computers are the ultimate end to any problem.

YouTube & Google Implementations till now after that huge critic they faced

After the vast critic faced by the social and electronic media, they were followed by the complaint filed by the child protection groups in 2018 with FTC(Federal Trade Commission). Their main concern was that YouTube is violating the children’s privacy laws by collecting information about kids under 13. And they were also accused of collecting data from the viewers(parents) and using that in the advertisement of the content. The involvement of FTC not only resulted in $170 million fine to YouTube, but also, they have to alter this problem clearly and resolve the flaws related to content in detail.

New Rules

According to new rules and regulations set by google and YouTube

Creators have to label their channels and videos as made for kids if the primary audience is children.

If it targets the mixed audience but it can be directed to the children as well it would fall under the same category. Examples (educational material for preschoolers,  songs, stories, animations ).That can be directed to children’s and the older viewers as well because they also enjoy that content with their kids. Take Sesame Street is a perfect example of a mixed audience.

Other than this Google has decided to turn off the comments, downloading, and sharing links section. Also, the irrelevant ads for that content, which is purely for kids.

Well!! YouTube still lacks to recognize completely that what content is for kids and what is not. But these implementations will lead to the betterment of YouTube Kid’s Content.

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