YouTube is reportedly weighing some significant changes in response to criticism that the platform is not safe for children.
The company's executives are discussing the possibility of moving all children's content from the main YouTube platform onto YouTube Kids, its separate app for children, in order "to better protect young viewers from objectionable videos," The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
This isn't the only potentially massive policy shift being discussed, as the report also says that some employees at YouTube are pushing for auto-play to be turned off of children's videos, with this being a way to prevent kids from being shown inappropriate content after watching age-appropriate content. A spokesperson for YouTubedidn't deny this reporting but told the Journal that "we consider lots of ideas for improving YouTube and some remain just that — ideas." But the report notes that these changes if implemented would be "among the biggest ever for the platform," especially considering how massively popular children's videos are on YouTube. The Journal notes, however, that these potential changes are "not considered imminent."
YouTube Kids was launched in 2015 as a separate service focused on content for kids, although it has come under fire for instances in which inappropriate content made their way onto the app. Bloomberg recently reported that YouTube has tested the idea of hand-picking each video that appears on YouTube Kids in order to better filter out inappropriate content. But the company reportedly found during internal testing that "kids between seven and 12 grew bored of the limited library and went to surf regular YouTube." This Bloomberg report also includes the detail that "four people at Google privately admitted that they don't let their kids watch YouTube unsupervised and said the sentiment was widespread at the company." Brendan Morrow
A new Congress means a new distribution of offices on Capitol Hill — and it's going to cost us. Some 60 freshmen senators and representatives have selected office space via a lottery system much like what some colleges use to assign dorm space to upperclassmen. Meanwhile, returning members of Congress jockey to move into better office space closer to meeting rooms and the House or Senate floor. The last time these moves were made, in late 2012, the moving bill totaled $1.5 million.
Critics suggest this game of musical chairs may not be worth the price. "What's driving this is the senior members of Congress who want even bigger, fancier places to hang their hats," said Pete Sepp of the National Taxpayers Union. "That's fine, but the taxpayers are the ones paying for it. They deserve to be consulted." Bonnie Kristian