Advocacy group calls for FTC to investigate YouTube Kids

Shane McGlaun - Apr 7, 2015, 6:10am CDT
Advocacy group calls for FTC to investigate YouTube Kids

YouTube Kids is the new kid’s content side of things for streaming video giant YouTube. The service is free and eliminates all the questionable videos that parents don’t want their kids to have access too. YouTube Kids only launched back in February, but it already has one children’s advocacy group calling for an investigation by the FTC.

The Center for Digital Democracy wants the FTC to investigate YouTube Kids because the network allegedly targets kids with ads on tablets and smartphones. The advocacy group says that this is unfair and deceptive and that the network is trying to cash in on the young children watching.

According to the group, YouTube Kids mixes commercial content with the video programming by using practices that are banned on broadcast and cable TV by the FCC. These FTC restrictions bar TV hosts or cartoon characters from advertising products during shows among other things.

YouTube for its part says that when developing YouTube Kids, it sought input from partners and child advocacy groups and is open to suggestions to improve the app. Google has maintained that the Kids service has commercials to allow the content to be offered free and its team only shows commercials deemed family friendly. The advocacy group also wants all unboxing videos pulled from the app saying that they are essentially toy advertisements. Checkout our review of YouTube Kids for more details on the service.

SOURCE: Mercury News


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