Google served with complaint regarding deceptive ads on YouTube Kids
Various advocacy groups are coming together in an effort to get the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the possibility of deceptive advertisements being placed on YouTube Kids. The complaint submitted to the FTC points out that Google has neglected to define a difference between advertisements and user-generated content from the service itself. Also, spacing between videos and advertisements is nonexistent.
Viewers, especially children, are not able to understand whether select content has been user-generated or professionally produced. Even when products are being endorsed on YouTube Kids, there may be a lack of disclosure of the relationships with product manufacturers. This area of concern is most noticeable with unboxing videos. Were the products purchased or provided by the manufacturer? If it is the latter, the content producer should note the relationship.
The issue of continuous streaming does not allow for a separation of videos and advertisements. Television is slightly different in that there are bumpers to separate the two. Even worse is that entire channels can go unnoticed as promotional. Viewers can go minutes before seeing actual content and not an advertisement.
The following is YouTube’s statement:
“When developing YouTube Kids we consulted with numerous partners and child advocacy and privacy groups. We are always open to feedback on ways to improve the app.”
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