YouTube Opinion Under the new FTC mandated regulations, based on my interests, will I need to give up being a Gaming YouTuber?

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User1111

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Greetings, as many of you, know there is a new regulation imposed by the FTC on YouTube that restricts what content can be made for what age group.
One part of the new guidelines YouTube has set forth I will be highlighting as it affects animation, gaming, and any work that could be assumed as targeted towards a child audience. Bullet point four under "deciding whether or not your channel or video is made for kids..." states "Whether the video includes characters, celebrities, or toys that appeal to children, including animated characters or cartoon figures. " This directly states ANY content that features ANYTHING that can be appealing to children as only for child audiences. This means the following will be subject to "kids only:"
  • Super Mario "Anything." (includes gaming videos and original animation)
  • Any and all content involving older cartoons in a documentary, even if mentioning how some kid shows had adult themes.
  • Minecraft, Let's play videos and animation exist for it (Markiplier, Pewdiepie, and Jacksepticeye all play them)
  • Many older games that adults may still play to recapture youth that were originally marketed towards kids. (ie. Super Mario World or Sailor Moon Another Story)
  • Any discussion videos of Anime, plenty of adults watch Anime as well as kids (I'm talking about Eastern animation from Japan/China not Western cartoons)
  • Fortnite (as it appeals to kids as well as adults)
All of those listed would be subject to a children's audience.
I'm not meaning to bring this up to cause problems but I would think that this restriction that YouTube is placing to comply with the FTC which takes away the freedom to do any content with anything listed a violation of Freedom of Expression. Currently, my gaming channel (and many like mine) features retro games like Sailor Moon and Super Mario... I don't think I should be forced to do something else when my expressed interest is in those titles and other titles like them!

So should I or any content creator just give up and not be a Gaming YouTuber because we want to create Let's Play videos of Minecraft, Fortnite, Mario, and some certain older retro games? When it's supposed to be protected under the right to Freedom of Expression??? I for one don't want to have to switch my content like that.

Estimated affected videos obtained via Keyword Explorer:
Mario (195M)
Fortnite (26.9M)
Minecraft (332M)
Anime (104M)
The above estimates are to determine the potential ad revenue loss by Google and Creators, this, of course, isn't taking non-monotized out of the equation.
 
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Damon

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This is going to be the biggest Adocalypse ever: Superpocolypse. The FTC's stipulations seem so vague and all inclusive. I mean "Chucky" could be considered a toy that appeals to children. "Killer Clowns From Outer Space" is the same thing.

As far as giving up the gaming channel, man, I don't know. It isn't going to be good either way. If you give up the gaming channel, you have to start all over again. If you stay the course, you have to take a 90% hit in revenue.
 
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User1111

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So even though I'm a US citizen and protected under the Bill of Rights which include the Freedom of Expression... I am not allowed to express myself as a creator because I want to run a gaming channel??? The first I hear about a class-action lawsuit, I'm signing up. I shouldn't have to give up a dream because parents won't comply with the law and not allow their kids on the main platform until they are 13. Heck, they are not legally allowed to allow their kids on the net until they are 13 but they do anyway!
 
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Tito Tim

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The Bill of Rights protects you from the government. Most of the Constitution puts limits on government powers. It does not mean another company has to let you say what you want... This is not a 1st Amendment issue.

But the new FTC rules do look like they will affect a lot more than just channels aimed at kids. Any cartoon or gaming channels does seem to be affected. I agree that since you cannot make a YT account until you are 13, that most of these rules should not apply - but they do.
 
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User1111

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Google is an American company therefore bound by American laws so they can't legally do that. Also, the FTC is enforcing what Google is doing as well which is the government. It sounds like you just want me to quit being a YouTube gamer.
 

Damon

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Actually we are agreeing with you, not telling you to quit. We're trying to sympathize with you because this whole thing is fubared. Do you realize that Tim is an ex-patriot?

The reality is this will be a long-term fight that we a will all have to cooperate with in order to solve.

Tim, yeah the real issue is with the FTC. Disney targets ads to kids all the time. Yet an honest gamer is simply making content not targeting kids and gets hammered far worse than Disney ever will. It's the expansion of the terms the FTC is considering that will "kill us all."

@mcnakahr Also there are politics going on here. A lot of people want YouTube to go down because they have disrupted traditional media. I can't help but wonder how many traditional media companies have totally tried to get this sort of thing pushed against YouTube just to shut them down.

Also remember as great as America is, it isn't that great. The Bill of Rights, Constitution and Declaration of Independence all speak of freedom and justice for all, yet slavery, Jim Crow laws and ongoing discrimination--Amber Guyger case, plague our country.
 
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User1111

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You have a point there, Damon. I don't think this is going to go down without a legal fight though. It's a shame, this all started because parents let their kids watch YouTube main on their devices and didn't even monitor them when they created their own Google accounts. We are all going to suffer because of someone else's ill-decision not to be a parent and Google's decision to not to follow the COPPA Rule. As harsh as it sounds imo Google should require everyone in the US to show a copy of Identification (State ID, Driver's License, etc) to prove they are 18 and ban all the true child based content, stuff found in YouTube Kids and YouTUbe Kids... yes, that would kill a lot of 13 - 18 accounts along with the child account but that's the only way to ensure the person viewing is not a child and keep the FTC from killing YouTube for the common man and making it a place only for corporate businesses which already make money so they wouldn't be phased by having restrictions.
 

Damon

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It's possible. Since it's a US company, US law might apply. Also you must comply with your country's laws which probably includes something similar.
 

Damon

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There may not be a similar law now, but you have to understand there are no geographic boundaries in this global economy. I can't give legal advice, so I suggest you get a lawyer because this thing is going to get ugly.

Don't assume because your country doesn't have a COPPA-type law thatthe US COPPA won't apply to your YouTube channel. Your YouTube channel is owned by YouTube not you. YouTube is a USA-based company. Just don't think you're protected just because you're in another country.

I heard a lawyer once say, "Justice is tricky." People really don't understand the quagmire that's coming.
 

dlrpfans

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yes, I understand what you are saying, but it's a hobby and I don't feel the need for layers, that's crazy, secondly if YouTube gives my details to these guys I can sue them for abusing my privacy, we have a law here that says no one can give my details to third parties without my consent. Furthermore let them fine, I can't pay it, YouTube is the company, I am just making videos that's it, I can't be held responsible for anything. YouTube is. We have a rule here that if you have a website or if you do anything online it's the rules from the country where you live in that you need to follow even if the server is in another country than where you live in
 

Damon

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Again justice is tricky. Nothing is certain. YouTube already paid its $170 million fine. Even if it's a hobby for you, if you're making money, it isn't a hobby in legal terms.

Yes, privacy is what this is all about. Of course Google/YouTube is collecting your information and abusing it. That's why the FTC stepped in in the first place.

Even though you are just making the videos, the FTC sees that as you are the producer, director just like in a kids show on T.V. or a movie or a video game. The truth is YouTube deceived and led us all astray thinking that we didn't have to comply with COPPA. YouTube knew full well that they were gathering information and data on children without verifiable parental consent all along. As a result we, the content producers are subject by association. Google and YouTube messed up and paid their fine, now the FTC is coming for the creators directly.

In other words YouTube/Google has been using us(creators) to illegally gather to data and information on children for the purpose of marketing and selling to them based on personal behavioral trends.

YouTube is in big trouble here, and I won't be surprised if creators launch a class-action lawsuit against YouTube and parent company Google for such.

But if this is just a hobby for you then none of this matters; as it won't matter if you shut everything down on a moment's notice. If you're making money off of it, then the whole matter changes.

Again, justice is tricky, and this thing is going to get ugly. People really don't realize what's about to happen.
 
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Ater

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I'm no expert but I believe it will have an effect on how your videos and your channel are presented. Lets say you are making Super Mario videos, they are cartoony you use a language and a humor in your video that are clearly meant for young children and your analytics show that most of your viewers are under 18 years etc, then your channel will most likely be effected. But let's say that you are making Super Mario videos for the old school NES, you do this with a voice and a story telling that clearly focus on adults who them self used to play the game 30 years ago and your analytic show that almost all your viewers are 30+ years old, then I don't believe your channel will be effected.

I'm running a gaming channel myself and I'm not worried since I'm not focusing on kids, it's rather the other way around since it's pretty nerdy, educational, tactical playing games that clearly focus on a 20+ audience. And the analytics show that during 2019 a big majority of my viewers are 25+ years old with a pretty decent amount beaning 35+ years old and less then 1% are under 18.

But I could be completely wrong.
 
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User1111

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Everyone keeps telling me to check my age demographic in my analytics to find out who my audience is. It's been empty for a long while and that's not just per video, for the entire channel. That isn't going to help me at all... the FTC goes after the subject matter not who I'm targeting or who I intended something to be... also Damon what if I had a goal to make money off it in the future? Again before anyone harps at me that "I shouldn't be on YouTube if I'm in it just for the money," I am not and that is rather silly to say. That's like telling a writer not to be one if in addition to wanting to entertain people through literary work they do want to make money from it, that they shouldn't be an author and expect to work for free.
 

Damon

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You're right, and that's what I'm trying to say. This whole thing is a legal quagmire. That's my point. It'a all fubared. In the interim, I don't want anyone to get caught with a $42k fine. No one is saying that you must shut down your gaming channel, but the rules will and have changed both now and in the long term. And they've changed from the Federal government level.

Even a writer who writes for fun, if they manage to generate $1,000 in revenue, it's a business. The IRS will come knocking. Period. If that writing is directed toward children, everything they write must comply with COPPA if it's online and gathering information about kids for the purpose of selling their children's books to kids.

This has happened for AirBnB. People were essentially running hotels out of their houses, but not registering it for taxes and such. Guess what? The same for Uber. Basically people were essentially running a taxi service, but not registering it for business taxes and such. Guess what? Frankly we as YouTubers are running our own T.V. studios and movie production houses. What makes any of us think we are exempt from the same laws they must comply with?

Take me for instance: I run a small custom fishing tackle shop out of the spare bedroom of my little mobile home. I have to pay excise taxes as a result just like a big fishing tackle manufacturers would. I have to report sales taxes every month to the city, county and state in which I live even though I'm just a small custom shop, churning out fishing tackle one piece at a time.

One might argue the scales of it all: We aren't big movie houses or big hotel companies or big TV studio production companies or big fishing tackle manufacturers. That's true, but if you look at the FTC's Web site they actually have a small entity compliance article. When I went to register my fishing tackle business, they knew I was not zoned for manufacturing, but they also knew that I was doing this online, was small and home-based. As a result they added stipulations: that I could not have customers parking or coming to my house to pick up products. I have to mail it or deliver it to them. That's perfect for me because I don't like dealing with people too much.

No one is talking about this stuff. YouTube is primarily the one who should be telling us these things, but they have failed.

No, you shouldn't be expected to work for free, but the rules for compensation with any content regarding children has fundamentally changed. Actually it hasn't changed it just that no one told us the things for which we were responsible.

Quite frankly YouTube is the one who should have implemented this 10 years ago, but they didn't. We were all led to believe that we were okay, but we weren't. YouTube messed this up. If they made a rating system that was both age and content specific, brought in the FTC, and FCC years ago, we would not be in this mess.

People don't want to believe it, but the FTC is being lenient. Will gaming channels continue? Of course, but they simply will have to be COPPA compliant until or if the rules change. (I doubt they will change. It will never be like it was. The golden years are over.)

This ruling by the FTC seems harsh, but its the consequences of YouTube and Google doing illegal things for the past 10 years. The fact that CEO Wojcicki isn't facing a Martha Stewart-like court case and prison time is, to me, proof the FTC is really try to make right by all this.

For years I've heard YouTubers complain and want to see YouTube lifted to the same or higher level than T.V. or movies. Well that day has come, and this is exactly what TV show producers and movie directors have to deal with.

I say again: People really don't realize what's about to happen. No one wants to hear it, but it is reality.
 
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