My daughter is a huge fan of YouTube. She has her favorite channels: Smosh, for one, although I have to supervise her watching of those videos because many are not appropriate for a seven-year-old, and my personal favorite, the lovely Cupquake/Tiffyquake who offers great Minecraft and crafting/cooking videos.
But YouTube is, of course, a minefield of wildly inappropriate material for kids. I have filters set on the iPad, my iPhone, and even my desktop computers but there are still many times I have to tell my daughter to turn a video off because the material is not suitable for her age range.
But lately my daughter who is incredibly creative, and loves making videos has been asking to set up her own YouTube channel. This is an idea I’ve squashed firmly. The internet is a rough place (and she already suffers enough being the child of a mom who blogs), and one of the worst places on the web is the YouTube comments section (only slightly fixed by the new requirement to log in through Google+ to comment on YouTube). Of course I could set up a private account for her, only share it with a few people, and turn off comments, but that’s not what she wants.
We’ve explored alternatives, and by far the best option is KidsVuz, the mom-built safe place for kids 7-12 to share videos. KidzVuz is heavily moderated for safety, collects zero personal information, and is generally a great nurturing spot for kids to make and share videos. But while my daughter watches and enjoys videos on KidsVuz, she really wants the kind of content that is currently only on YouTube.
I suspect this is why Google is potentially researching developing a version of YouTube for kids ten and under. Emil Protalinski explains at The Next Web.
The goal would be to offer a site that parents could trust, free of both videos and comments that many adults would prefer children not see. Parents could, for example, access a special app on a device or TV that includes only kid-safe videos. The product isn’t anywhere close to being launched, however, and how exactly it will work can is still very much up in the air.
This parent hopes this is indeed in the works and is available soon. A safer alternative for my daughter would be lovely! Let’s hope it happens.