What is “thinking of children” anyway?

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If you don’t know anything about YouTube, you should at least know that its algorithms are trash. In a world where YouTube is the main entertainment source for children, YouTube does not seem know what they want kids to see.

Unlike you and me, kids don’t filter what they want. They see something that interests them, like a video with a Cars thumbnail, and they watch it. It is easy to target children, especially when parents are using the internet as a means to occupy their kids. This fact makes YouTube’s inability to properly deal with these situations really frustrating.

Since 2014, there has been a trend of people posting inappropriate content disguised as content for children, also known as Elsagate. These videos often featured characters found in family-friendly media or somehow disguise themselves as child-friendly media using tags. This allowed the YouTubers to gain more ad revenue, as advertisers are more likely to put ads on family-friendly content, but it has raised quite the controversy in the last two years. However, YouTube did not implement stricter guidelines until 2017, and even now, these videos are still floating around.

If the Logan Paul controversy is anything to go by, YouTube is tasteless in what it considered “family friendly.” Let’s just say that Paul has been making “prankster” videos for years, but it wasn’t until people went into an uproar that YouTube decided to suspend him for filming a suicide in the woods.

But you know what kinds of videos YouTube has been suspending people for because of sensitive material? People making videos to spread LGBTQ and mental health awareness. YouTube has no problem taking down a video that wants to spread information on important subjects, but a video of a grown man doing dangerous things for lulz is perfectly fine by their standards. Until people get mad at a certain YouTuber over it, that is.

You see, YouTube would rather cater to their advertisers than their content creators, and algorithms do make mistakes, but it’s appalling to see YouTube’s inability, time and time again, to figure out what kind of content they want to deem family-friendly.

Ju Hyun Kim

4B Sociology and French

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