With so much content uploaded to YouTube every day, it would take an impossible large army of people to manually check the content of every clip – but it sounds like YouTube does think a smaller, curated pool of videos for kids is a plausible idea.
According to a source speaking to Buzzfeed, a kids app watched over by real flesh-and-blood people rather than coded algorithms is in the works. The idea is that nothing gets in front of your children before someone at YouTube has specifically given it the all clear first.
Parents will be able to switch between the algorithm-driven approach and the human-filtered approach in a new update to the existing YouTube Kids app, the source says, with a launch expected in the next few weeks.
The kids aren't alright
Concerns about the sorts of clips YouTube serves up to children have been aired for some time now, with uploaders often gaming the algorithm YouTube uses to put unsuitable videos in front of kids that appear friendly and wholesome on the surface.
The video portal has had problems with conspiracy videos filtering into children's channels as well as material that's just shouldn't be viewed by young eyes. And of course YouTube isn't the only tech company having to deal with algorithms being abused for sinister purposes – or just a quick buck.
We'll have to wait and see what Google and YouTube have got in store but it seems that something has to change – parents need to know that they can fire up YouTube Kids for their young ones without worrying about what's going to pop up.
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Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.