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Video platform YouTube recently announced significant policy changes that triggered a wave of confusion, fear and panic among creators.

YouTube said that from November 14, 2019, onwards, creators had to follow a new set of norms around content made for kids. All content creators will now have to mark their channel and videos as ‘made for kids’ or not. If flagged as ‘made for kids’, the comment section along with several other features such as personalised ads, info cards, stories, use of community tab and notification bell will be restricted.

Prashant Sharma

BuzzInContent caught up with Prashant Sharma, Chief Marketing Officer at NoFiltr, an influencer incubator platform, to discuss the impact of the policy changes on brands and creators and how to deal with it.

According to Sharma, with these changes, YouTube creators who target kids are not able to engage with them. “If a creator targeting kids wants to monetise the channel, then he will have to mark it as not for kids. If marked not for kids, then children will only not be able to see the videos. They won’t be able to reach out to their target audience now. YouTube assumes that it is easier to sell to a kid, and if you are doing that, then you are violating the law,” said Sharma.

He said YouTube hasn’t even cleared what precisely qualifies to be called kids’ content. Sharma elaborated, “The content that engages with kids and is attractive for them are two different things. I might be making abusive videos that are not for kids. In an animated format, the kids might open the video seeing a cartoon character on it.”

He said, “There are a lot of YouTube channels that review toys. It is not clearly defined what kids’ content is and what is not. YouTube has publically said it isn’t going to decide what content is right for children. It is up to the content creator to decide if the video is for kids or not.”

YouTube released a video explaining the changes, in which they said, “Don’t rely on our system to set content for you. Like all automated systems, it’s not perfect. If you don’t set your audience or if we detect error or abuse, we may set your audience for you. But in most cases, we will rely on your audience setting to determine if a video is made for kids.”

Sharma said these policies changes wouldn’t impact brands as much as existing and budding YouTubers. There are several other platforms like TikTok and Instagram, where advertisers can reach out to their target audience. He considers YouTube more like a brand recognition platform for sales purposes.

YouTube decided to mend its policy in the wake of the Federal Trade Commission issuing a $170 million fine against Google for alleged violations of the children’s online privacy protection act (COPPA) in September 2019.

According to the complaint, the companies collected information from kids through YouTube channels that targeted them, without the parents being notified or their consent. After that, YouTube and Google agreed to create a set-up in which the channel owners can designate if the videos they upload to YouTube are ‘directed to children’ or not.

NoFiltr Group helps young talent groom to become relevant creators in the influencer industry and facilitates their association with brands to monetise their content and elevate their lifestyle. NoFiltr has collaborated influencers like Ahsaas Channa, Simrat Kaur, Mrunal Panchal and many brands like Snickers, Uber Eats, Jockey, Cadbury, One Plus 6, Maybelline, etc.