YouTube and Twitch platforms have introduced restrictions for juvenile streamers: Now children under 13 can only broadcast in the presence of adults. We explain why this happened, whether new rules are being observed and why restrictions are needed.
How it all began: pedophile scandal on YouTube
In February 2019, blogger Matt Watson spoke about the YouTube algorithm, which helped pedophiles to exchange videos with inappropriate content. In the comments of the video with minors, they left links of timecodes where children made obscene poses. After the pedophile searched those links several times. The YouTube algorithm gave him similar videos in the list of recommended ones.
According to Bloomberg, after the scandal with the algorithm, many companies have refused to promote on YouTube. In particular, Nestle, Walt Disney, Epic Games and other renowned brands ended business relations with the platform. YouTube even reimbursed the $ 8 thousand that companies spent on advertising in videos that pedophiles were looking for.
What measures has YouTube taken?
The YouTube administration has seriously addressed the problem. In the first half of 2019, it blocked more than 400 channels and removed about 800 thousand videos that could be of interest to pedophiles. YouTube also turned off comments on millions of videos of minors.
In addition to these measures, the service has tightened the rules for juvenile streamers. Now children under 13 can stream to YouTube only under the supervision of adults. Google has also promised to launch a self-learning algorithm for analyzing children’s content. If the channel violates the rules of the platform, it can be blocked.
What are the rules on Twitch?
Like on YouTube, Twitch also has age limits for streamers. Children under 13 years old are not allowed to broadcast on the platform. The 13 years old to the age of majority can only be streamed under the supervision of their parents or guardians.
In the rules of the streaming service there is also the addition that: By downloading, installing or using any other way using the services of Twitch, users automatically confirm their age (13+). According to the same principle: now the consent of parents or guardians will be needed to comply with the conditions of the platform.
Are these rules enforced?
Users do not always comply with the age limit Twitch. There are many juvenile streamers on the platform that broadcast without adult supervision. Nevertheless, they happily communicate with viewers and receive donations from them. Some of these children have already become famous in the media field and attract thousands of subscribers in social networks.
Especially a lot of juvenile streamers in the sections Fortnite and Minecraft. Most of them publish personal information in the channel description – indicate the name and age, social networks and even the place of residence. This data can be used with malicious intent.
So this new restrictions will only improve the services of both multimedia platform and fight against the pedphiles.