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Federal officials are in the latter stages of an investigation into YouTube’s management of content catering to children, The Washington Post reported Wednesday, citing anonymous sources.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched the probe after complaints from consumer groups, the report noted, citing four people who requested anonymity. The complaints claim YouTube fails to protect children who used the video streaming service. They also argue that the Google-run company improperly collected children’s data.
Lots - Ideas - YouTube - Remain - Ideas
“We consider lots of ideas for improving YouTube and some remain just that — ideas,” YouTube spokeswoman Andrea Faville said in a statement to WaPo. “Others, we develop and launch, like our restrictions to minors live-streaming or updated hate speech policy.” She did not directly comment on the nature of the FTC probe.
The probe comes after The New York Times noted in a June 3 report that YouTube’s algorithm was effectively directing content of children in bathing suits to users who watched other videos of prepubescent kids. The algorithm referred users to the videos after they watched sexually themed content.
YouTube - Videos - Others - Issue - Result
YouTube ultimately nixed several of the videos but left up others. The issue was probably a result of some tweaks to its algorithm, the company told a NYT reporter at the time. YouTube is not doing enough to solve the problem, researchers argue.
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