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YouTube Creates Vetting Policy to Safeguard Children's Videos

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YouTube has announced a vetting procedure intended to keep disturbing and dark videos aimed at children out of its YouTube Kids app. It's also removing ads from this content.

For several months, articles have pointed out the large number of low-quality YouTube videos that use familiar characters from animation or comics to appeal to young viewers. Some channels spin out hundreds of these videos each week, using 3D or animation software to create variations based on viewing trends. Many videos include dark and disturbing elements, drawing bad press for YouTube when they appear on its supposedly safe YouTube Kids app.

Yesterday, YouTube announced a revised policy designed to keep these videos from young children and remove the financial incentive to create them. An algorithmic filter will first scan for inappropriate content. After that, kid videos flagged for content will be reviewed by YouTube employees. Offensive videos will be restricted so they won't appear in the YouTube Kids app. The Verge reports that YouTube employs thousands of people who screen videos for content. Since uploaded videos don't appear in the YouTube Kids app for a few days, this procedure should provide enough time for inappropriate content to be flagged.

Videos that have been flagged will only be available to registered account holders who are 18 or older through YouTube's main site, and they won't be eligible for advertising. There appears to be a lucrative business in churning out these low-quality videos, but this could remove the financial incentive for many studios. 

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