YouTube Stars Surviving the New Decade

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Your favorite YT content creators may not survive the new decade; Here’s why: starting January 1st, 2020, YT (YouTube) will have new terms of services agreements for their content creators. These terms basically state that unless creators have specified within mid-November and December, they cannot upload or create content meant for children 12 and under, on YT at the risk of being fined up to $42,000. Why the sudden change in ToS? (Terms of Services)

To understand this, one reporter decided to figuratively go back to 1998, when Congress passed the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act, or COPPA, for short. This act states that advertisers and websites CANNOT collect information of children ages 12 and under with or without parent’s permission, or 13-16 without parents’ permission. This was to attempt to protect kids from targeted advertisements so they may surf the web in peace. Fast forward to 2017, where YT decided to start regulating the content people see. At first, they cut out all of the “Elsa-gate” videos.Now to early 2019, where YT decided to deactivate the comment sections for videos showing kids in them due to some unpleasant people. Moving on to mid 2019, YT decided to restrict content that wasn’t even remotely brand safe. Fast forward to today, where YT and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) have come to a $170m settlement since YT had violated COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act.

Yet, what is, according to COPPA, supposed to be kids content? Well, there are four guidelines:

  • Content developed for children
  • Has characters, actors/actresses, toys, animated/cartoon style that appeals to kids
  • Involves doing something that kids like to do
  • Already has a child audience

So, basically, animation channels, gaming channels, kids music videos, and the likes thereof, are at risk of getting hit with a fine from the FTC that can get up to $42,000/video. So, gaming creators such as PewDiePie, Markiplier, and Jacksepticeye; animators such as TheOdd1sout, JaidenAnimations, SomethingElseYT, and ItsAlexClark; and the likes thereof, are AT RISK of losing their livelihood simply for doing what they’ve been doing for the past several years. That is, unless they specifically state that their content is not meant for kids.

What is YT going to do about this? YT is going to set up an entire department to “cleanse the site.” They are going to allow creators to “self-certify” their videos.

Well, how does this affect the creator? Right off the bat, they are going to lose targeted ads IF the FTC interprets a lot of the videos as “kids content,” Which, in turn will cause those creators to lose 80%-90% of their YT Paycheck. Losing that much money can cause entire businesses to close basically for eternity. Losing that much may even force the former creator king of YT PewDiePie to shut down his channel forever.

Now, how does this affect the viewer? Well, for lack of a better term, YT itself will just be nothing more than a shadow of its former self. No more top tier content, no more meme-able content, nothing but a void where it once was.

Could YT have won the battle with the FTC? Technically speaking, yes. From 2005, when YT was founded by three former PayPal employees, to now, YT has technically been COPPA compliant. But, as with all proud companies, they just admitted kids were running amok YT main instead of being on YTKids, where YT prefers them to be. So, after a $170m fine, YT, along with the content creators, are going to attempt to clean the main site.