YouTube is said to be planning to release a new version of its YouTube Kids service that gives parents the option to turn off algorithmically recommended videos and only display those suitable for children handpicked by a team of curators.
“The whitelisted option of the app could be released within the coming weeks. It’s designed to give parents an option where they can feel comfortable letting their kids watch videos on their own, without worrying that they might end up in the dark corners of the internet,” BuzzFeed reported on Saturday citing a source familiar with the company’s plan.
By giving parents the option to turn off the algorithmically recommended videos, the new “YouTube Kids” plans to curb conspiracy theory videos such as sexually explicit language, profanity and paedophilia jokes that were surfacing on the channel previously.
The Google-owned video platform did not deny its plans for the app but it told BuzzFeed News: “We are always working to update and improve ‘YouTube Kids’ however we don’t comment on rumour or speculation.”
In November last year, YouTube stepped up enforcement of its guidelines for videos aimed at children, the unit of Alphabet’s Google said on Wednesday, responding to criticism that it has failed to protect children from adult content.
The streaming video service removed more than 50 user channels in the week leading up to the announcement and stopped running ads on over 3.5 million videos since June, YouTube vice president Johanna Wright wrote in a blog post.
“Across the board we have scaled up resources to ensure that thousands of people are working around the clock to monitor, review and make the right decisions across our ads and content policies,” Wright said. “These latest enforcement changes will take shape over the weeks and months ahead as we work to tackle this evolving challenge.”