Does the idea of entrusting your kid’s wellbeing to YouTube’s much questioned algorithms keep you awake at night?
If it does that good news – YouTube Kids has been updated with some additional controls that allow parents or guardians to restrict content to only that which is on channels handpicked and screened by an actual human, TechCrunch reports.
Note that this does still not guarantee that every video available will have been watched and checked, although channels that are greenlit will have had lots of their content scrutinised.
An upcoming update will go a step further and allow parents to actually assume the role of curator, with the ability to restrict content only to specific channels and videos of their choosing. Parents will also be able to limit content by category.
Note that all of this is opt-in, however – none of these new controls will not be activated by default and will have to be manually enabled by parents.
The YouTube Kids app is currently watched by around 11m kids weekly, and in the three years it has been available has hosted some 70bn video views.
While YouTube has been no stranger to controversy as of late, the Kids app in particular has been the source of much anger, with countless examples of inappropriate and potentially damaging content successfully navigating its way through the site’s algorithms.
“Over the last three years, we’ve worked hard to create a YouTube Kids experience that allows kids to access videos that are enriching, engaging and allows them to explore their endless interests,” YouTube’s global head of family and learning content Malik Ducard said.
“Along the way, we’ve never stopped listening to feedback and we’re continuing to improve the app. In addition to all the work our teams are doing behind the scenes to make the experience the best it can be, we’re also offering parents even more options to make the right choice for their family and for each child within their family.”