A new bill, the KIDS Act, written by two democratic senators could pose a serious threat to toy unboxing channels on YouTube if it is passed.
The bill, the Kids Internet Design and Safety (KIDS) Act, would force companies like YouTube and TikTok to change how they house children’s content. How would the bill change the companies’ approaches? The KIDS Act will force YouTube and companies like it to stop recommending unboxing videos to children.
The Kids Internet Design and Safety (KIDS) Act
Senators Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal are the authors of the bill. Markey is the original champion of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act—better known as COPPA. The bill won’t ban unboxing videos on the platforms, but it will make it very hard to find them, since they won’t be recommended. Why do this? Unboxing videos often influence people watching it to buy the products being unboxed. Under COPPA, it is illegal for websites to collect the data of children under the age of 13. YouTube has been hit with a huge lawsuit and has had to change how it treats targeted ads. The KIDS Act will further YouTube’s regulations on children using its platform.
“Big Tech has designed their platforms to ensnare and exploit children for more likes, more views, and more purchases,” Blumenthal said. “The KIDS Act puts guardrails in place to reign in recklessness of marketers and Big Tech – protecting children and giving parents some peace of mind.”
Why go after unboxing videos?
The KIDS act will make it more difficult on YouTube, which will result in more regulation. That ultimately ends up hurting its creator community. When YouTube was hit with the COPPA lawsuit, it responded with new restrictions on content aimed at children. It put many YouTuber’s in a difficult spot because many channels have borderline adult and children audiences. It made it unclear if channels could legally use targeted ads, which earn creators money.
Unboxing videos are very popular on YouTube. If this bill passes, it’ll greatly hurt all of these channels because they will no longer be recommended to new, potential subscribers and current subscribers.
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