How come YouTube is relying on customers to comply with COPPA?

Hi everyone. I read that in September last year, the FTC fined YouTube for violating COPPA. As a result, YouTube is requiring its users to identify which videos are kids oriented. However, I feel like YouTube (the defendant) was accused of breaking the law, yet they’re going to hold US accountable when it was THEIR fault. Why are they counting on us to comply? They said if we don’t do it properly, the FTC could find us. But we didn’t break the law, YouTube did. What’s going on here???

1 Answer

  • L
    Lv 7
    4 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    The FTC imposes specific requirements on website operators (including online web services - like YouTube) related to content and its access to children under 13.

    Online web services companies (including YouTube) have a "Terms of Use" - a set of rules that allow how their web site is used by others. Generally, these websites don't post inappropriate content - their end user's might. These websites (including YouTube) are not the source of the content, their end-users are.

    These websites, (including YouTube) updated their Terms of Use to include terms and conditions of end-users posting content. If their end-users of the website do not abide by the website's Terms of Use, then the website can impose whatever sanctions that are allowed under the published Terms of Use.

    In this case, YouTube did not produce or upload the content, end-users did. End users did not comply with YouTube's Terms of Use, but the FTC fined them. YouTube's only recourse is to do the best they can to monitor uploaded content and how it is identified according the COPPA - and the content found in violation is removed/restricted and the end-user who produced/uploaded the content will be sanctioned according to the Terms of Use.

    If the Terms of Use of a particular website or service does not allow what you want, there are always alternatives - including creating appropriate content or correctly identifying it or developing your own website or online web service (at which point you can define the Terms of Service and deal with COPPA as you see fit).

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