YouTube warn parents responsible for children’s behaviour on video-streaming platform

Annabel Hennessy – The West Australian

YouTube is warning parents they are responsible for their children’s behaviour on the site after a boom in the number of kids making their own online videos.

The video-streaming platform announced it was updating its terms of service, with changes including a new warning which says parents are liable for their kids’ behaviour on the site.

The changes come after YouTube was hit with a $US170 million ($250 million) fine from American regulators who found the site had “knowingly and illegally” harvested children’s personal information and used it to bombard them with targeted ads.

There has also been a big increase in the number of child YouTubers with a number of the site’s most popular channels now starring children.

While YouTube says its platform is only to be used by children aged 13 and older, cyber safety experts said they did not believe enough was being done to detect accounts belonging to underage children.

Best Enemies director Ross Bark, whose company runs cyber safety workshops, said YouTube had been inconsistent on its age-limit policy and should do more to detect underage accounts.

He said the changes were to protect the platform “legally”.

“I agree that parents do need to take responsibility … and can’t rely on the site to control their child’s viewing habits, however, YouTube could also do a lot more to educate parents.” he said.