In an effort to protect children on its platform, YouTube has updated its security policies and guidelines to forbid “younger minors” from streaming unless they have an adult with them. The safety of children and families on the video platform has long been a concern that’s become more talked about recently, and YouTube says the restriction on the service’s live features is one of several ways that it’s taking precautions for younger audiences and content creators. YouTube covered this latest measure and others in a blog post which discussed what has and is being done to discuss YouTube’s younger demographic.
The blog post in question listed the restriction of livestreams from younger minors as the first of several changes that have been made over the past few months. Unless they’re accompanied by an adult, “younger minors” as the blog post describes them will not be allowed to livestream any longer, and channels that violate this rule run the risk of having that livestreaming privilege removed.
“We updated enforcement of our live streaming policy to specifically disallow younger minors from live streaming unless they are clearly accompanied by an adult,” YouTube’s blog post said. “Channels not in compliance with this policy may lose their ability to live stream. We also launched new classifiers (machine learning tools that help us identify specific types of content) on our live products to find and remove more of this content.”
This change follows a move from months ago where YouTube decided it would disable comments on “tens of millions of videos featuring minors.” This change was made to reduce the risk of exploitation when it comes to these younger YouTubers, though the post said YouTube acknowledges concerns that come with removing the option to comment on a video.
“We recognize that comments are a core part of the YouTube experience and creators have told us they feel we removed a valuable way for them to connect with and grow audiences,” YouTube said. “But we strongly believe this is an important step to keeping young people safe on YouTube.”
YouTube has never really been for kids though, a point the post made clear at the beginning. YouTube Kids was created to give that audience a way to experience YouTube and so that parents could have more control. According to the update, YouTube terminates “thousands of accounts per week” that are held by people under the age of 13.