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YouTube Removed 7 Million Accounts Used By Underaged Kids This Year
By Alexa Heah, 26 Oct 2021
Image via AngieYeoh / Shutterstock.com
YouTube, which will testify at a Senate hearing this week, has removed over seven million accounts suspected of belonging to young children and preteens in the first nine months of 2021.
The company’s Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy, Leslie Miller, will inform Congress that the social media site has recently ramped up its automated removal efforts, with three million of the accounts being deleted in just the third quarter of the year.
Miller will be facing the same committee that Facebook’s first whistleblower Frances Haugen addressed earlier in the month. The latter had accused the site of “moral bankruptcy,” saying it often ignored users’ safety in favor of profits.
The internet’s premier video portal will report that 85% of the videos it removed for violating child safety policies in the second quarter were taken down from the site before hitting 10 views. According to CNET, it appears the page is enforcing a more aggressive stance on the removal of such videos, as compared to those which broke any of its other rules.
With increased scrutiny from lawmakers and the press on social media platforms, especially in terms of harmful effects on young persons, it’s unsurprising YouTube is offering up favorable results from new policies it has imposed to keep children safer online.
For example, only teens aged 13 and above are allowed to register for an account on the site. While younger kids are still allowed to watch videos, they must do so through ‘Supervised Experiences’, which limits the type of content available to them. Parents can opt to use ‘YouTube Kids’ as well, which is a separate app designed specially for children.
The platform has also begun enforcing stricter age restrictions on videos. Last year, it employed the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically apply such restrictions, with the algorithm deciding if a video should only be seen by users above the age of 18.
More information is set to be revealed at the hearing, which is scheduled to take place on October 26, 7am (PT). Other social media giants such as Snapchat and TikTok will also be testifying in front of the Senate subcommittee.
[via CNET, cover image via AngieYeoh / Shutterstock.com]
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