Questions about COPPA and YA discussions on YouTube
In response to being fined by the Federal Trade Commission (the FTC) millions of dollars due to violating the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA), YouTube will be changing it’s guidelines, monetization rules, comment section restrictions, and so on and so forth.
(TLDR: Video link at the bottom of the post)
I have just started putting videos up on YouTube, so I am fascinated by the prospect of being paid for something that I am having fun doing (aren’t we all). I often fall down the rabbit hole searching for ways to make my videos better and trying to wrap my brain around how SEO works without signing up for a “free” online course which results in my email inbox being inundated with daily messages to “try my new course and get a new lease on life,” or about “my new book, which would allow you to make *obscene amount* of money daily, from home, and on your own work schedule.”
So when I started seeing more buzz on the internet about the COPPA act resulting in new changes to how the YouTube engine works, my ears perked up. And then I saw the SINGLE question on the uploading screen, which just asked if the video being uploaded was meant for children or not.
Well, my answer is no. I am posting a video about writing a novel during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). And I went happily on my way for 2.5 seconds until I reached the box where I needed to input my tags for the video.
One of my tags is YA, and another is Young Adult.
I am writing a fantasy novel that will be marketed for young adults. The young adult market mainly targets those ages 12 to 18.
Well, Crud. Now what? Does that mean that I can’t use those tags anymore? But the machine learning algorithm also takes into account what you SAY in the video (for example, cursing). So can I not even utter the words during my videos?
I mean, of course I can continue to tag and say the words YA and Young Adult, but does that mean that the videos that I am making (that have those tags) will, come January, have the comments turned off? Will I never be able to monetize these videos simply because I am writing a YA book that “might appeal to children.”
From what I can tell, the people at YouTube don’t know either. It appears to be a waiting game for now, as the FTC and lawmakers are discussing, and YouTube is telling us to self-police our videos.
I tried to attend the local write-in to meet some of my regional writing buddies for NaNoWriMo, which had been arranged to be at a coffee shop not too far from my home. I walked up to the coffee shop and opened the door to a literal wall of people.
Apparently, one of the local high school fine arts department was putting on an improv night. I must say, it was very well supported by friends and family (go Fine Arts!).
However, to a group of introverted writers who just want to do writing sprints and talk about what their characters are doing, it was a bit too intimidating.
And since all of the writers were coming in at separate times, each writer essentially walked in, saw the crowd and “Noped” out.
A secondary coffee shop option also had about 20 more people than normal (testing season, anyone?), so most of us went home to hop online to do virtual word sprints. Huzzah for a partial success?
I did manage to hit 25,000 words today, which means that I am officially halfway to the NaNoWriMo goal of 50,000!
I jumped around between about 10 different scenes today, managing to create a clearer picture of my antagonistic headmaster of the mages’ academy, getting a better idea of what the breaking point is for my main character to “join the dark side” and actually become an active part in the coming war, and I decided who the double agent is going to be.
Progress, success, and achievement, despite being the 13th of a month, near the full moon, and being intimidated by a crowd of strangers.
Let Me Know Down Below
Please let me know if you are attempting NaNoWriMo this year, and if so, how is it going for you?
Also leave me a comment if you prefer the shorter blog post like the previous ones or ones about this length.