YouTube Kids gets human-curated version

Enterprise


  • YouTube is releasing an alternative version of its YouTube Kids app that will rely on human curation to sift through video content instead of an algorithm, according to Buzzfeed News.
  • The whitelisted app will reportedly be available in a matter of weeks.
  • The move comes after a Business Insider investigation revealed that the app, intended for young kids, is prone to surface videos containing conspiracy theories.


YouTube will soon be offering an alternative YouTube Kids app that will swap out an algorithm for actual humans to suggest videos to its young users, reports BuzzFeed News

With this new version, the report says, YouTube employees will sift through and approve individual channels to be included on the app, to make sure that no unsavory content sneaks through — something that a Business Insider investigation revealed to be a problem with the app.

Parents will apparently be able to choose between this human-curated version and the original. This new whitelist-driven version of YouTube Kids will be available in a matter of weeks, says BuzzFeed.

“We are always working to update and improve YouTube Kids, however we don’t comment on rumor or speculation,” says a spokesperson for YouTube.

Though the kid-friendly YouTube platform was created to provide a safer way for youngsters to surf for videos, it was recently discovered that multiple videos promoting conspiracy theories were viewable by YouTube Kids users. The conspiracy material included claims that the 1969 moon landing was fake, and lectures featuring conspiracy theorist David Icke who proclaimed that reptile-human hybrids rule the world.

The YouTube Kids homepage states that it’s a safer experience for kids, but that “no system is perfect and inappropriate videos can slip through, so we’re constantly working to improve our safeguards and offer more features to help parents create the right experience for their families.”

Should this app come to pass, it would be part of an ongoing initiatvie by YouTube to stop the spread of misinformation on the service. Earlier this year, YouTube came under fire after a video accusing Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg of being an actor was featured prominently, before removal.

Another part of this initiative: YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki recently detailed the company’s plan to link Wikipedia pages to videos that contain conspiracy-related materials. Background information will accompany vertain YouTube videos, as well as include a link for users to follow to the full Wikipedia page. 

Read the full BuzzFeed report here.



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