YouTube’s best solution for dodgy content is passing the buck to parents

YouTube has responded to the widespread criticism about inappropriate videos popping up unexpectedly and scaring children by announcing several new parental controls.

The YouTube Kids app will introduce three new options throughout the year, which are likely to arrive at different times.

Related: YouTube’s big problem with dodgy videos

From this week, parents will be able to pick “channel collections” for their children to access. These are described by the site as “collections of trusted channels on a variety of subjects from arts & crafts and music to sports, learning, and so much more”, which have been put together by partners such as Sesame Workshop and PBS KIDS.

Also incoming is the ability to specifically handpick every single video and channel available to children in the app.

YouTube Kids is also improving the “search off” control. Soon enough, disabling search in the app will limit the experience to channels that have been verified by the YouTube Kids team. There’ll be no recommendations for random videos, and (hopefully) no nasty surprises either.

“For parents who like the current version of YouTube Kids and want a wider selection of content, it’s still available,” wrote James Beser, the product director for YouTube Kids, in a blog post.

“While no system is perfect, we continue to fine-tune, rigorously test and improve our filters for this more open version of our app. And, as always, we encourage parents to block and flag videos for review that they don’t think should be in the YouTube Kids app.”

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