YouTube Kids’ Opponents are Asking the Wrong Questions

From the Kidscreen post:

Last week, two advocacy groups renewed their complaints against YouTube Kids, claiming that a “limited but systematic search” turned up hundreds of promotions for foods that ought not to be advertised to children under the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. I don’t question that there are still advertisements to be found on YouTube Kids, and I don’t question the inherent unfairness of “native advertising” to children. I do have doubts about the methodology and claims of the activists’ study.

YouTube Kids is a response to many things: Children’s distaste for “walled gardens,” since they have interests at least as diverse as adults’; parents’ desire for safe spaces for their kids; and Google’s interest in not having to sanitize its adult-oriented platform (that we know young people love).

Television is changing in ways we couldn’t have anticipated just a few years ago, and there’s a lot still being figured out. Activists who cut their teeth counting commercial minutes on limited, programmed and linear channels need to become smart about evolving media. They may want streaming media to be more like traditional “TV” as it would be easier to regulate. But “pull” is entirely different from “push,” in its content and genres, its use patterns, even its purpose.



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