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YouTube considers plan to scrub children’s content from main app

YouTube may introduce a massive change to how it handles children’s content, a new leak claims. Company executives are reportedly considering a plan that would move videos targeted at children from the main YouTube app to a separate app, as well as disabling the auto-play feature that causes new random videos to play after the current one ends.

The radical plan has been detailed by the Wall Street Journal, which claims that if company executives decide to follow through with the idea, every video starring kids will be shuttled off to the separate YouTube Kids app. The company hasn’t confirmed any plans to do this, however, instead vaguely referring to the fact that it has many ideas for improvements, only some that become reality.

The report arrives amid growing criticism over predatory behavior and videos that have been found on the platform. Examples of these concerns were highlighted earlier this month by the New York Times, which specifically pointed toward YouTube’s automatic recommendation system.

The criticism focuses on the automatic recommendation system’s ability to recommend videos of kids to users who have previously watched other videos featuring children, at least according to recent research. Past reports about the issue include one from Wired revealing disturbing comments left on videos featuring young kids.

The new report claims YouTube is considering a change that will help protect kids from some of these issues by moving all kids content to the YouTube Kids app, possibly also scrubbing the auto-play feature. There’s no way to know at this time whether YouTube will ultimately follow through with the idea, which would require a massive effort given how many videos would need to be moved. The news comes amid the FTC’s alleged investigation into YouTube’s handling of kids videos.

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