Coppa – Children’s Online Privacy Protection about to ruin YouTube for kids and creators

Oh my goodness! Youtube is abuzz with Coppa. the Children’s Online Privacy Protection and how it is going to implemented on YouTube. Here is a typical plea video from jhousevlogs

YouTube has paid a great big fine for serving ads up to kids with and placing cookies on their computers. Now the FTC the Federal Trade Commission are after YouTube Creators.

I have had to set my Drawstuffreal easy channel to the status of “Made for Kids” Basically, this means there is no interaction allowed with the audience and most advertising will disappear. It becomes not worth doing anymore. I’m sure the out come of Coppa was not to cease all content creation for children’ but that will be the inevitable outcome. Many Channels will be arbitrarily closed down by YouTube and businesses that have grown up on the back of youtube will go to the wall and have to lay off thousands of creative people.

I will now only make drawing videos for adults on DrawSTuffRealEasy. I’m almost on the verge of throwing the towel in as a children’s author too. It’s just not viable anymore.

I will have to go through over 1000 videos and determine which ones are made for kids. Unfortunately, Coppa, not having been bought about by legilators, has not rules – they won’t ell us what “Made for kids” means – it seems possible that a mean spirited prosecutor could arbitrarily decide that a video talking about a children’s book illustrator in academic terms could be deemed as made for kids because it contains images that children might like. The rules are made of cotton wool and can be interpreted however any prosecutor may choose, depending on what mood they are in that day or their political or religious affiliations. fines of $42,000 – yes forty two thousand dollars PER video and possible.

The FTC will be doing a sweep soon to make examples of innocent people, who are entertaining and educating children. litle people like me, in sheds and back rooms, doing it mostly for love and to give back, because the advertising revenue – if you meet the criteria to receive it – doesn’t cover the costs.

Below is the message I wrote on the relulations.gov website on the  Request for Public Comment on the Federal Trade Commission’s Implementation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule page.

If you feel strongly abut this heavy-handed application of what I understand isn’t even law, then you can let them know what you feel about the situation too by following the link.

Hi,

I’m a children’s author and illustrator of over 30 year’s standing. I’ve sold millions of books worldwide and I run two award-winning, how to draw YouTube channels with over 300,000 subscribers and 50 million views. I have worked so hard to achieve this over the last 11 years, and you are about to make it all worthless.

One of my channels – shooraynerdrawing – has a mix of videos teaching drawing skills to all ages but, as I am a children’s illustrator, I have no idea if teaching children’s illustration to adults counts as kid’s material – because, by its very nature it contains kid’s illustrations.

Your suggestions of what constitutes children’s videos give no help at all to any YouTube creator. They are so vague and have not been created by legislators. I now have to go through over 1000 videos, one by one and determine if they are made for kids or not, and then mark them as such.

I will now make this channel purely for adults, teaching drawing skills for grown-ups. But How am I supposed to stop kids watching along with grandpa? Drawing is something kids love to do – they want to know how to draw stuff and will be attracted to how to draw videos however much they are made for adults.

My other drawing channel – DrawStuffRealEasy – is aimed at kids. I make how to draw videos for kids because the educational establishment worldwide has given up on teaching creative subjects – art and drawing in particular. I aim to do my bit for world society by filling the gap a little.

I make about $250 a month from adsense revenue on my kid’s drawing channel. That works out below minimum wage in the UK for the time I spend. Your Coppa regulations introduced on YouTube will reduce that to almost zero. I have invested years in this and you are taking it all away. Bigger organisations are going to have to lay off employees and close accounts to be safe.

I rely on comments from viewers to know what to draw next. I now find that schools are using my videos to replace what they can’t offer anymore. I won’t be able to suggest that they might like to support me on Patreon and get worksheets into the bargain, nor suggest other videos to follow up on. Kids will not be able to save videos to watch later or take on vacation. I’m not holding data, I have no access to YouTube cookies but you want to damage me for sharing my skills and experience. This is a killjoy act.

It seems to me that these regulations are there to protect privileged American kids at the expense of children in the rest of the world – imposing your views on other nations and cultures. Children in developing nations watch and learn from my videos too. You are going to take much needed free educational resources away from them as well.

Kids will still watch YouTube but, without kid’s material being made anymore, they will naturally gravitate to more adult videos, with bad language, ideas and violence. They already watch this stuff anyway. Using grandpa’s account they can watch anything they like and still be advertised to How are you going to prove that a kid is watching? Coppa will actually force children to watch adult material by taking away safe material made for kids.

Youtube creators, in general, are little guys like me, working way in a shed or back room, creating stuff to entertain and educate the planet. This seems to be another replay of the state breaking a butterfly on a wheel. Only It’s not even my state! You are ruining my life and the lives of millions around the world who have no say in your laws. That is an outrageous attack on our democracies and cultures.

Coppa will have exactly the opposite effect to that which it intends. It will throw people out of work, break an awful lot of hearts, dumb-down children worldwide and drive kids to watch adult content, as great kids content won’t be made anymore – at least not by the good guys.

The bad guys on the internet – the ones you really want to protect kids from – will always find a way of doing what they want with impunity – they always do and will always be one step ahead of you.

I really feel that the FTC has no idea how the world and the internet works in practice, and is imposing 19th Century ethics on a modern world, using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

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