YouTube has increasingly faced criticism for a large library of bizarre videos collectively dubbed the ‘ElsaGate’ collection. These videos feature keyword-stuffed titles that seem to be aimed at luring in as many clicks as possible, and many of these involve the fictional character Elsa, as well as Spiderman and other superhero characters. Many of the videos have been criticized for containing disturbing, sometimes violent or inappropriate content that is targeted at the platform’s youngest viewers.
While YouTube is home to many satirical animations that are crude or otherwise violent, they’re not targeted at kids. These bizarre “ElsaGate” videos, as they’ve been dubbed, are different. They appear to be targeted at kids who search for basic popular keywords (such as “Elsa”) and then mindlessly watch the videos, letting them autoplay into other similar videos.
Many of these videos show millions of views each, though how many are authentic views versus bots is unclear. They appear to be part of the lucrative online world of ad revenue farming, but many parents have criticized YouTube for failing to keep these videos off of the YouTube Kids app…the app that is specifically intended to protect kids from potentially troublesome videos.
It seems the increased public awareness of these odd videos may be contributing to some action against them. YouTube is making a tweak that will age-restrict content when it is flagged in the main YouTube app. Once it is age-restricted, it will no longer appear in the YouTube Kids app. Speaking to The Verge, YouTube said the change was in the pipeline before this controversy arose, and that it isn’t a direct result of it.
SOURCE: The Verge