Jump to content
HammerheadHippo

Sonic YouTube Videos in Danger -- Important Update!

Recommended Posts

(Please see below for important update!)

In a lawsuit from the U.S.’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC), YouTube was found to have violated the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA). In response, YouTube is rolling out a new set of policies, effective January 2020. While I am concerned about kids' privacy online, the new rules are potentially very problematic.

All videos on YouTube will be classified based on whether or not they’re “children’s content.” (This affects YouTube proper, not just “YouTube Kids”.)

“Kids” videos will have numerous features disabled, including likes, comments, notifications, and targeted ads. (Targeted ads make more money.)

It doesn’t matter if the viewer is logged in as an adult; YouTube "will treat data from anyone watching children’s content on YouTube as coming from a child, regardless of the age of the user." (Apparently parents can’t be trusted to stop kids from using their accounts, which seems pretty dumb, considering a kid using their parent’s account could use it to access adult content…)

Creators will be required to report whether or not their videos are for kids (meaning ages 0-13). Creators could get in trouble if they give the incorrect answer.

And here’s the really scary part: YouTube will “use machine learning to find videos that clearly target young audiences, for example those that have an emphasis on kids characters, themes, toys, or games.

There are many adult Sonic fans, but Sonic could easily be categorized as a children's series. Does this mean that all videos featuring Sonic characters and games will be classified as “children’s content”?  

Not necessarily. According to YouTube in 2017, “there are many cartoons in mainstream entertainment that are targeted towards adults, and feature characters doing things we wouldn’t necessarily want children to see. Those may be OK for YouTube.com, or if we require the viewer to be over 18, but not for someone younger. Similarly, an adult dressed as a popular family character could be questionable content for some audiences, but could also be meant for adults recorded at a comic book convention.”

But what about videos where it’s more ambiguous? What about channels that are intended for adults but don't necessarily have explicitly "adult" content? If such creators label their videos as not-for-kids, will they get in trouble with YouTube?

Should all Sonic YouTube creators start sprinkling the F-word into every video, in order to ensure that they’re able to label them as not-for-kids? Or would YouTube classify such videos as inappropriate children's content that should be removed? These kinds of questions need to be clarified.

Search “youtube kids ftc rules” on YouTube and you’ll see that numerous creators are very concerned about these new policies. But as of yet, I haven’t seen a single Sonic-related YouTube video about these rule changes, which tells me that not enough Sonic video creators are aware of them.

IMPORTANT UPDATE! (Oct. 11)

Turns out the FTC is planning to modify COPPA very soon, so they're taking public comments on it until October 23. Among the items they're seeking input on, there's (at least) one really important one: The part that forces websites like YouTube to treat all viewers of "children's content" as children, no matter what the viewer's actually age is. (See here.)

According to a group of senators, changing this rule would weaken children's privacy. I'm sure these senators mean well, but I don't think they realize there are actually many adults who enjoy content that the FTC might consider "child-directed." There is a very blurry line between content for kids and adults! And as one comment points out, "It seems that the only way to know if you are violating COPPA or not is to wait until [the FTC prosecutes] you."

As some of you have pointed out, YouTube brought this situation on itself, to a large extent. Even so, this is the law, so it may also affect other websites soon.

If you live in the US, please consider submitting a comment!!  (Link)

Please make sure your comment applies directly to the law, or it will be ignored. Consider starting your message with something like the following:

"The COPPA rule should be amended so that, if users identify their age when creating an account, general audience platforms can treat users as the age they identified, even when users are viewing child-directed content."

Consider reading Tips for Submitting Effective Comments. Of note: "The comment process is not a vote –one well supported comment is often more influential than a thousand form letters"

Also: All SonicTubers, please consider making a video about this urgent issue! 

(As a final note, please don't forget that kids' privacy is very important; but I honestly don't believe the upcoming YT changes will help kid at all.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the source, if anyone wants to look for themselves.

Definitely a huge mistake on YouTube's part to not comply with these laws; I think their seemingly deliberate ignorance of their own user registration rules (only people 13+ can make an account) have done some real damage to them and then it spills over onto the users. Account categories (such as signing up for a family account or company account, as opposed to a personal account; something similar to how PayPal's registration works) would've been a fine solution to the problem, but it looks like it's too little, too late for that. The new rules are (mostly) not agreeable imo, but YT really shot themselves in the foot with this one.

The loss of targeted ads is definitely gonna be tough on family channels (like SonicSong182,) but I'm not seeing anything about the loss of audience engagement through comments or anything of the sort. If that's true, I'm wondering if that would also extend to livestreams, because that could very well also mean the end of Super Chat donations for said channels, which would be fairly devastating.

I make Sonic-related skits and whatnot but am not a partner; some of these videos are clean and others are a little more mature with some swearing and stuff. I don't think being a partner will effect me personally under the new rules too much, but if they are going to start categorizing videos as PG, PG-13, what have you, a possible silver lining to all this could be YT getting rid of the "inappropriate use of family-friendly characters" rules for their Partner Program, which I would be down for since that rule was ridiculous in my eyes.

In short: this really could've been prevented, the new rules are mostly an extreme that isn't really needed when a more reasonable alternative could've been implemented, but the categorization of what is and what isn't family content in and of itself (without the attachment of a "no comments/likes/notifications" rule) could result in a positive policy change on the website.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This regulation is a good thing to be rid of Elsagate, but it’s too bad thousands of channels are caught in the crossfire, and in the end it adds another cherry atop the pile of removed YouTube features. If anyone wants to switch services, they really should by now. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...SonicTubers might be in danger?

7TzIPY2.gif

...OK real talk, it's going to be interesting seeing this pan out. Given the commentary approach a lot of SonicTubers take, I do have to wonder if they'd really fall under the kind of thing YouTube's proposing or if, dare I say it, they might exercise more discretion and stick it to the kind of stuff they'd normally try and curate for the Kids app - so like, real infant level stuff. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know, this is kinda like the whole lootbox legislation thing that's been going on lately. Except instead of being brought forth through sheer greed, this time it happened both because of YouTube's trademark laziness AND all these jackasses doing this Elsagate type crap necessitating it in the first place. So for once it isn't completely YouTube's fault, but don't confuse that for defense, for they are still very much at fault. Of course knowing YouTube all the Elsagaters are gonna get away with it all and keep on keeping on while innocent channels are burned to the ground in signature YouTube fashion. Ugh...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Harkofthewaa said:

You know, this is kinda like the whole lootbox legislation thing that's been going on lately. Except instead of being brought forth through sheer greed, this time it happened both because of YouTube's trademark laziness AND all these jackasses doing this Elsagate type crap necessitating it in the first place. So for once it isn't completely YouTube's fault, but don't confuse that for defense, for they are still very much at fault. Of course knowing YouTube all the Elsagaters are gonna get away with it all and keep on keeping on while innocent channels are burned to the ground in signature YouTube fashion. Ugh...

Only for the cycle to start again with YouTube getting even tighter against Elsagaters, destroying more of the website until there is eventually nothing left but big, increasingly ugly corporations shilling products.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, skull902 said:

The loss of targeted ads is definitely gonna be tough on family channels (like SonicSong182,) but I'm not seeing anything about the loss of audience engagement through comments or anything of the sort.

Oops, my bad, I definitely should have provided a link. Here's the main post from YouTube about the policy changes:

https://youtube.googleblog.com/2019/09/an-update-on-kids.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Scritch the Cat said:

YouTube might be poised to piss itself into the grave, the way of Napster and MySpace.  Which is fine by my trust-busting standards.

Let’s be real, the decline started around 2009 or so. Who knows what happens to the site next? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah this could be interesting but in my view kids shouldn't be watching channels with that sort of language in to begin with and creators shouldn't be F-bombing on vids aimed at younger audience. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMPORTANT UPDATE!

Turns out the FTC is planning to modify COPPA very soon, so they're taking public comments on it until October 23. Among the items they're seeking input on, there's (at least) one really important one: The part that forces websites like YouTube to treat all viewers of "children's content" as children, no matter what the viewer's actually age is. (See here.)

According to a group of senators, changing this rule would weaken children's privacy. I'm sure these senators mean well, but I don't think they realize there are actually many adults who enjoy content that the FTC might consider "child-directed." There is a very blurry line between content for kids and adults! And as one comment points out, "It seems that the only way to know if you are violating COPPA or not is to wait until [the FTC prosecutes] you."

As some of you have pointed out, YouTube brought this situation on itself, to a large extent. Even so, this is the law, so it may also affect other websites soon.

If you live in the US, please consider submitting a comment!!  (Link)

Please make sure your comment applies directly to the law, or it will be ignored. Consider starting your message with something like the following:

"The COPPA rule should be amended so that, if users identify their age when creating an account, general audience platforms can treat users as the age they identified, even when users are viewing child-directed content."

Consider reading Tips for Submitting Effective Comments. Of note: "The comment process is not a vote –one well supported comment is often more influential than a thousand form letters"

Also: All SonicTubers, please consider making a video about this urgent issue! 

(As a final note, please don't forget that kids' privacy is very important; but I honestly don't believe the upcoming YT changes will help kid at all.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
55 minutes ago, Marco9966 said:

This stupid! Why would comments be forbidden in a video game character video?

It's not that it's video games, it's that any video that gets marked as "for kids" loses features such as comments and notifications.

Edit: It seems like notifications for the channel are also not working, meaning the whole channel got marked and you won't get notifications for new videos.

Screenshot_20200107-152856.png

Edited by DryLagoon
More info

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's probably all automated on YouTube's end and requires an appeal to be let back through, but even then it might be difficult. Sonic's in a weird position because it's a cartoony series that can be seen as appealing to kids and that might be what set the flag off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On my youtube channel I mainly upload playthroughs of the classic Sonic games and because I stated my videos as "made for kids" (don't think I could get away with saying made for adults without being fined), all my comments are now turned-off. One of the cool things about uploading videos is reading and replying to comments, but I won't be able to do that anymore. All my exisiting comments will be deleted in 30 days. So my channel is now pretty useless.

Fuck COPPA and fuck the idiots who made it happen. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TheOcelot said:

On my youtube channel I mainly upload playthroughs of the classic Sonic games and because I stated my videos as "made for kids" (don't think I could get away with saying made for adults without being fined), all my comments are now turned-off. One of the cool things about uploading videos is reading and replying to comments, but I won't be able to do that anymore. All my exisiting comments will be deleted in 30 days. So my channel is now pretty useless.

Fuck COPPA and fuck the idiots who made it happen. 

Sucks :(

Can somehow re-brand?

Like start new playthrough with vodka-logo at start or something?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, TheOcelot said:

On my youtube channel I mainly upload playthroughs of the classic Sonic games and because I stated my videos as "made for kids" (don't think I could get away with saying made for adults without being fined), all my comments are now turned-off. One of the cool things about uploading videos is reading and replying to comments, but I won't be able to do that anymore. All my exisiting comments will be deleted in 30 days. So my channel is now pretty useless.

Fuck COPPA and fuck the idiots who made it happen. 

COPPA is fine, even good. It's YouTube's typical hamfisted response that's the problem. Even the FTC reportedly don't think YouTube is handling this properly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah just gonna post this here from a while ago:

https://youtu.be/h_Pmzb8bD1E (The FTC CALLED ME about COPPA... (GOOD NEWS!)

Quote

 

 from the guy (KreekCraft) who was meeting with the FTC a month ago:

1) They have no desire to go after every YouTuber, only cases that are clear cut violations of the COPPA law.

2) Fines will hurt if given out, but they aren't going to try to bankrupt people with 42k fines.

3) The FTC isn't familiar with YouTube/knows little about it, and they don't know much about the exact systems that YouTube is trying to push onto us. They don't really understand how Channels work, and pretty much thought they were websites. That said, they also noted that mixed audience is a thing, and they are familiar with and acknowledge that these kinds of works do exist.

4) The FTC also cannot tell YouTube how to run their business oddly enough, only fine them for violating the law. This means that the For Kids/Not For kids mess was entirely YouTube's doing, and the FTC said that we should complain to YouTube about that, because they can't tell YouTube how to run their business.

5) If a video is deemed a violation, the FTC will send a warning or a subpoena (asking for more information) which could lead to legal trouble unless we provide information. The information is related to demographics, and the ages of the YouTube account don’t count as demographics info because (according to the FTC), kids can lie about their ages. If we cannot provide this info, they will pursue other means of finding demographic information, though it is unspecified as to how this works. This one is arguably the most concerning.

6) COPPA laws are vague INTENTIONALLY because they understand that not all animation content is for kids. They can’t be too specific because there are too many cases and contexts for such specific rules to apply to. Video games are a gray area, and note that most games have a mixed audience (Angry Birds cited as an example). If someone like PewdiePie were to make a Dora the Explorer skit that had adult elements, it would not count as kids content. CONTEXT IS IMPORTANT HERE. Just because a kids character or animated character is used, DOES NOT MEAN it’s automatically for kids.

7) Toy Channels aimed at helping parents figure out how to buy something = adults. Toy channels where a kid is playing around with toys = kids. Again depends on Context.

😎 Rated M games like Grand Theft Auto are considered adult, done deal. Rated T games are a bit grayer, but can generally be considered not for kids. Minecraft, Roblox and Rated E games are context dependent, due to the games having a wide audience. There will not be a black and white answer in this regard because it depends on a case by case basis.

9) The FTC rarely goes to court; impossible to take thousands of creators to court.

10) FTC doesn’t understand how YouTube works and keeps referring to channels as websites.

11) KEEP LEAVING COMMENTS TO THE FTC FOR FURTHER CLARIFICATIONS.

12) YOUTUBE IS AT FAULT FOR NOT INCLUDING A MIXED AUDIENCE OPTION. GET ON THEIR CASE PEOPLE! THE FTC SAID THEY CAN DO THAT, BUT YOUTUBE DOESN’T DO IT.

 

Basically, it's YouTube who's fucking shit up to try to shift their mess onto us.

Here's some other stuff regarding COPPA from different creators; the first two are from a lawyer.

Spoiler

 

 

(Rattling the COPPA Saber: On the Weaknesses of the FTC’s Case Against YouTube Content Creators)

 

(COPPA Cabana: On YouTube’s “Legal Requirement” Deception)

 

 

(Mr. Enter's Understanding COPPA)

 

 

(Chadtronic's MARKING WILL NOT SAVE YOU FROM COPPA POST)


https://youtu.be/LuScIN4emyo

(Folding Ideas)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OBGfbSk_HE

 (Jimquisition)

https://youtu.be/E47WC6j81T8

(Djdude167 He did the research)

 

https://ftc.gov/news-events/audio-video/video/ftc-press-conference-settlement-google-youtube

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Youtube handling this by disabling comments is already bad enough. For me specifically disabling the comments in these videos isn't a big issue since I don't interact with the comments section in any way. It's stilll a really bad way to handle this, but at the end of the day this doesn't affect me specifically. 

 

This, however, is a big issue for me

Screenshot_20200108_175313_com.google.android.youtube.thumb.jpg.da5a996f567f42173551169e1e7ffa8f.jpg

Look at the bottom of the screen. They turned off miniplayer for the affected videos.

WHY?!!!? 

Can anyone actually explain what this shit accomplishes? Like, I cannot think of a single use-case for this function. It does nothing in regards to COPPA, it does nothing in regards to guarding young viewers from anything, it does nothing outside of annoying the end user. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yet another reason why SEGA shouldn't be marketing primarily to children. Their games are too expensive for the average child to reliably afford, and many kids who DO have that kind of money won't be blowing all that on a Sonic game at launch. Older audiences are the ones with the buying power and the ones more likely to buy Sonic games, but because SEGA's always alienating their fans they can never maintain brand loyalty.

And now, things just got worse. Because as low budget as SEGA's become, Youtube has actually been a means of advertising Sonic games to kids and other audiences. With the outlet gone its going to a little harder now to reach out to people without bleeding MORE cash.

Its a shame, too. I wanted to make Sonic art videos on youtube, but it looks like I'm just going to have to make it more generalized, if its only going to get me flagged.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

You must read and accept our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to continue using this website. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.