There is a new, daunting change coming to not only YouTube, but also videos uploaded to other sites. It is the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
I want to assure you that this is not reactionary or "fear mongering." You can search "COPPA" in YouTube to see the overwhelming response from many YouTube content creators discussing the impact this ruling will have on many channels.
Compliance with COPPA is complicated, as the rules are vague. Content creators are scrambling to delete videos and close accounts to avoid harsh penalties for failure to comply.
I have uploaded a video about COPPA. It is critical that you watch this video. This affects all of us -- YouTube content creators, creators who upload to other websites, and viewers of online videos. I especially want my viewers to be aware of the potential risk to craft channels. So let's keep it short and get right to the video.
I sincerely thank you for watching. Please share the video or share this blog post. Thank you so much! ~Lolly
For those of you who have asked, here's what I wrote to my congressman and senators:
Dear Mr. ________:
I am writing about an urgent matter regarding the FTC’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
I am a content creator on YouTube, and I upload craft tutorials for adults. My content is family friendly but not directed toward children. I also use tools and adhesives that are not for children. The FTC has stated that not only child-directed videos can be fined up to $42,500, but also “child-attractive” videos. This is vague and leaves too much room for interpretation.
We content creators are fearful as to what this means for us. During the first part of this year, YouTube was pushing for family friendly content and was disciplining the use of foul language and violence in uploaded videos. Now family friendly content is under fire, and it appears that creators need to add foul language in their videos just to avoid a penalty from the FTC.
If we designate our videos as directed toward children just to avoid penalties, then YouTube will turn off commenting, the ability to share the video, the ability to save the video, and the ad style will change, resulting in a revenue loss of 60-90%.
I have many concerns about this:
Creators who intentionally create quality children’s content will quit. They will no longer be able to invest the time to do so, when they lose their revenue source. I have seen many creators have already deleted all their content for fear of the future.
Video content across the platform will suffer as only R-rated material will be allowed.
Creators like me, who do not upload children’s content, but happen to make content that a child might find “attractive”, will be penalized.
Creators like me cannot define what is child-attractive. Children happen to be interested in crafts and art channels.
Creators are already rapidly deleting videos and entire channels out of fear.
The burden of compliance should be on the parents who, against YouTube rules, have been allowing their young children to watch YouTube using their parents’ accounts.
Even one fine (up to $42,500 per video) on one video will financially ruin a content creator who had no ill intentions but happened to make a video tutorial that a child found interesting.
The FTC’s director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, Andrew Smith, stated that they are going to target YouTube channels, and it will be like “shooting fish in a barrel.” This is highly inappropriate and aggressive, and it indicates an unwillingness to seek solutions for the benefit of all.
I urge you to please get involved and seek for rewording of the COPPA. A current petition is being circulated asking the FTC to:
Provide an enforcement statement (clarity) for creators
Clarify the definition of “child-directed,” and not expand it to cover “child-attractive” content
Delay enforcement against creators until the FTC concludes its review of COPPA
Thank you for your time!
Sincerely, (name, address, and website)