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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Will YouTube's new rules kill its Nintendo content?

After a recent FTC settlement with YouTube, content targeting children, specifically or even incidentally, will no longer be allowed to display custom advertising, appear at recommended lists, have comments etc. basically depriving content creators of 80% - 90% of their income and even potentially risking fines if they don't properly flag their content as kid-oriented.

Now, you might think this is fine since you don't believe your favorite channels make kid-oriented content but do remember that we're talking about the subjective opinion of some 40 or 50 year old FTC enforcer and YouTube's always horrible algorithm and lack of transparency. A lot of channels will be deservingly target such as toy review channels, but others are pretty much screwed despite targeting older audiences on the basis their content has also been deemed appealing to children, including:

- Lego channels

- Figurine and doll channels

- Animation channels

- Channels doing certain types of gaming content

The latter being particularly troublesome because no one quite is quite sure where the line will be drawn. But chances are that channels playing games targeted for children, even if their audiences skew older than 13 these days due to nostalgy... like Pokémon, Minecraft or Mario... are in dire straits. Take for instance certain Nintendo channels like Arlo, Blue Television Games, Gamexplain... hard to argue you aren't appealing to children when your avatar is literally a muppet or your let's plays are restricted to Pokémon or family-friendly Mario content.

This might even reflect in sales and mindshare in the future since YouTube will drown in PG-13 content without all the "brighly colored" and "fun" games (as the COPPA regulation calls them) and no too mature content either since excessive violence and swearing can't be monetized as well (even though you aren't at risk of being bankrupted with fines in this case).

So, what do you folks think?






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Not just Nintendo content, but all sorts of video game content on Youtube is in danger like Fortnite and Minecraft.


Under COPPA, there is no one-size-fits-all answer about what makes a site directed to children, but we can offer some guidance. To be clear, your content isn’t considered “directed to children” just because some children may see it. However, if your intended audience is kids under 13, you’re covered by COPPA and have to honor the Rule’s requirements.

The Rule sets out additional factors the FTC will consider in determining whether your content is child-directed:

  • the subject matter,
  • visual content,
  • the use of animated characters or child-oriented activities and incentives,
  • the kind of music or other audio content,
  • the age of models,
  • the presence of child celebrities or celebrities who appeal to children,
  • language or other characteristics of the site,
  • whether advertising that promotes or appears on the site is directed to children, and
  • competent and reliable empirical evidence about the age of the audience.

The determination of whether content is child-directed will be clearer in some contexts than in others, but we can share some general rules of thumb. First, unless you’re affirmatively targeting kids, there are many subject matter categories where you don’t have to worry about COPPA. For example, if your videos are about traditionally adult activities like employment, finances, politics, home ownership, home improvement, or travel, you’re probably not covered unless your content is geared toward kids. The same would be true for videos aimed at high school or college students. On the other hand, if your content includes traditional children’s pastimes or activities, it may be child-directed. For example, the FTC recently determined that an online dress-up game was child-directed.

Second, just because your video has bright colors or animated characters doesn’t mean you’re automatically covered by COPPA. While many animated shows are directed to kids, the FTC recognizes there can be animated programming that appeals to everyone.

Third, the complaint in the YouTube case offers some examples of channels the FTC considered to be directed to children. For example, many content creators explicitly stated in the “About” section of their YouTube channel that their intended audience was children under 13. Other channels made similar statements in communications with YouTube. In addition, many of the channels featured popular animated children’s programs or showed kids playing with toys or participating in other child-oriented activities. Some of the channel owners also enabled settings that made their content appear when users searched for the names of popular toys or animated characters. Want to see the FTC’s analysis in context? Read pages 10-14 of the YouTube complaint.

Finally, if you’ve applied the factors listed in the COPPA Rule and still wonder if your content is “directed to children,” it might help to consider how others view your content and content similar to yours. Has your channel been reviewed on sites that evaluate content for kids? Is your channel – or channels like yours – mentioned in blogs for parents of young children or in media articles about child-directed content? Have you surveyed your users or is there other empirical evidence about the age of your audience?


Based on that it seems like it won't be too much of an issue for most gaming channel. Unless you're specifically targeting kids under 13 with your videos, you should be fine. Even most of the Minecraft and Nintendo channels have average viewership ages well over 13.  

Yeah, most content should be fine unless you are specifically going for that audience. Still, this seems kind of ridiculous.

Would content being "for everyone" equate content being "for kids"? Because if it doesn't, Nintendo related content is probably in the clear.

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It wouldn't end at Nintendo, it'd effect everything else out there that kids could watch, not just one console, but all the platforms.

Isn't it only if you mark it strictly for kids? Just say it's for everyone.

Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

Watch Jim Sterling's video on this. There isn't even a remote chance that the FTC will act against a channel that is not exclusively for children and deliberately pretending to not be. That is if they have the time to act at all. The FTC is no danger at all here.

The only issue is youtube's shitty algorithm for flagging kids content which could lead to demonetization for certain videos, but that's nothing new. I mean it's hilarious that you bring it up in context of Nintendo because Nintendo itself is at the forefront of unjustly demonetizing videos of people. Nintendo is literally a bigger threat to creators than the FTC.

If you demand respect or gratitude for your volunteer work, you're doing volunteering wrong.

No biggie. A Youtube should just throw in the F word somewhere and it's fine.

If you type in coppa now you'll get an endless stream of 40 year old manchildren with toys in the background.