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Lawmakers call YouTube Kids a 'wasteland of vapid' content

Posted at 9:15 PM, Apr 06, 2021

A House subcommittee is investigating YouTube Kids.

The panel says the Google-owned video service feeds children inappropriate material in “a wasteland of vapid, consumerist content” so it can serve them ads. In a letter sent Tuesday to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, the House Oversight and Reform subcommittee on economic and consumer policy says YouTube isn't doing enough to protect kids from material that could harm them.

It says YouTube relies on artificial intelligence and creators’ self-regulation to decide what videos make it on to the platform.

“YouTube Kids, serves an audience of children, but it appears to be serving up inappropriate, low-education, highly commercial content. I believe that may be ascribable to the advertisement-based business model and reliance on free uploads of user-generated videos without adequate quality control,” Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi. “YouTube profits from this disservice of children with more paid ads and more corporate revenue.”

The subcommittee is calling on YouTube to provide information on how it vets content by April 20.