The popular video app YouTube is now set with an age restriction of 17+ on iTunes. This has changed fairly recently, it was set at 13+ previously. The increase in age limit on iTunes is definitely justified due to the adult content on YouTube. (Now if we can get Facebook set at 13+ instead of 4+ on iTunes also….yup it’s rated 4+!!) On Google Play YouTube is set at an age recommendation of 12+. It would be nice if there were some consistency across online apps stores….
YouTube Is NOT For Younger Kids!
During my parent talks I usually point out to parents that YouTube is not a safe app for younger children, and inform them that the app has a Terms Of Service restriction set at 13+. YouTube have recently also changed their terms of service suggesting YouTube is only suitable for 18years and over, unless you are an “Emancipated” minor or have parental permission. Otherwise, as many other platforms do, it must comply with COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act). As their terms of service states clearly, you cannot use the app if under 13years of age. See item 12 at this link or screen shot below.
Most parents I talk to have absolutely no idea that there is an age limit similar to Facebook and Instagram for YouTube. They are mostly under the impression that YouTube is harmless for kids, and has no age restrictions and no risk of their child seeing very adult content.
Most parents certainly are not aware that there is an adult content filter that can be enabled for younger teens within the platform, (it isn’t front and centre, scroll down to bottom of any YouTube page – see screen shot above) The adult content filter or “Restricted Mode” needs to be switched on, and can be locked on with a Google account. It will restrict most raunchier videos but it is not failsafe. Test it yourself by setting it, and then searching for an adult term. It certainly doesn’t restrict video game play of Grand Theft Auto which contains copious amounts of swearing and violent imagery. You can also set the Restricted Mode in the Mobile app also through settings. My manual has the step by step on how to do that.
What About The YouTube Kids App?
Google has released a YouTube Kids app, but it’s not available in all iTunes or Google Play stores, it is certainly not available in the Australian online app stores. However judging by the reviews I found on the U.S iTunes store, it isn’t curated very well, and cartoons with swearing are still being shown. I’ve also read it contains a lot of advertising.
If you would like your younger children to watch videos on your iPad stick to professionally curated video apps designed only for children like ABC’s Kids iView or Disney or Nickelodeon video apps.
To restrict your child from using YouTube, you may have to delete the YouTube app, and restrict access to YouTube through the Safari browser also via the built in parental controls on your child’s device or P.C . See my manual “Keeping Kids Safe Online” for settings.
What is your favourite child video app?
Leonie Presents Cyber Safety Talks for schools, business, and community groups.