Tag Archives: YouTube
A coalition of more than 20 child-health, privacy, and consumer groups is asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether YouTube is violating a federal law designed to protect children on the internet.
The groups are expected to file a complaint with the FTC on Monday. The relevant federal law, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, requires website operators to obtain parents’ permission when collecting personal data about children younger than 13.
The complaint claims that a significant portion of popular content on YouTube is designed for kids, whose personal information—including IP address, geolocation, and persistent identifiers used to track users across sites—is unlawfully collected by Google and then used to target ads.
The complaint follows reports that some YouTube creators are targeting kids with disturbing videos, including some of kids in abusive situations. On Friday, BuzzFeed reported that the company will offer a safer, human-curated option for YouTube Kids, a version of the site for users under 13.
But the complaint to the FTC argues that most children aren’t watching YouTube Kids, which launched in 2015. They’re watching the same YouTube as the rest of us — and the company is aware of that, says Josh Golin, executive director of the Center of a Commercial Free Childhood, a nonprofit behind the complaint. The company could have moved popular children’s content like Peppa Pig or Sesame Street to YouTube Kids, says Golin, rather than leave videos where “kids are going to be exposed to data collection practices and be one click away from really disturbing content for children.” Human curation may be a good first step, “but changes to the YouTube Kids app do not absolve Google of its responsibilities to the millions of children that use the main YouTube site,” Golin says.
A 2017 survey conducted by a market research firm specializing in children and families called YouTube “the most powerful brand in kids’ lives,” with 80 percent of American kids ages 6 to 12 using YouTube daily. A survey from October by Common Sense, another nonprofit group that signed the complaint, found that 71 percent of parents said their children watched YouTube’s website or app, whereas only 24 percent used the YouTube Kids app.
In a statement, a spokesperson for YouTube said, “While we haven’t received the complaint, protecting kids and families has always been a top priority for us. We will read the complaint thoroughly and evaluate if there are things we can do to improve. Because YouTube is not for children, we’ve invested significantly in the creation of the YouTube Kids app to offer an alternative specifically designed for children.”
YouTube’s terms tell kids under 13 years old not to use the service, so Google could argue that kids are watching with their parents and permission is implied. However anyone can watch videos on YouTube without an account. The complaint points out that kids often watch on a mobile device, likely by themselves. In 2015, the company said it launched YouTube Kids as a mobile app “because of this reality – that we’re all familiar with – 75 percent of kids between birth and the age of 8 have access to a mobile device and more than half of kids prefer to watch content videos on a mobile device or a tablet.” COPPA applies to websites that have “actual knowledge” that they are collecting or maintaining kids’ personal information, even if the collection is unintentional.
The complaint claims that YouTube’s advertising practices suggest that executives know children are watching. For example, Google Preferred, a premium service that helps advertisers place their ads in top videos on YouTube’s main site, includes the category “Parenting & Family,” which features channels like ChuChuTV Nursery Rhymes & Kids Song, which has more than 15 million subscribers.
Targeting kids can be lucrative. The complaint points to a popular YouTube channel called Ryan ToysReview, in which a 6 year old reviews toys. The site, which has more than 20 billion views, generated $ 11 million in revenue last year, according to Forbes.
- After criticism about advertising to kids, YouTube Kids launched an ad-free version, available to parents, for a monthly subscription.
- Facebook followed YouTube’s lead, launching an ad-free messaging app for kids as young as 6 years old.
- Most of the experts who vetted Messenger Kids were paid by Facebook
(Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google is raising the price of its YouTube TV online service for new customers as it adds channels from Time Warner Inc’s Turner, National Basketball League and Major League Baseball, the company said Wednesday.
Less than one year after launching YouTube TV, the company is increasing its pricing to $ 40 per month from $ 35 per month as it adds Turner’s channels, which include TNT, CNN and TBS, and soon will be adding MLB Network and NBA TV, the company said.
Google is expanding its offering at a time when a growing number of competing services, such as Dish Network Corp’s Sling TV, AT&T’s DirecTV Now and Hulu, are vying to win over the growing number of viewers who are cancelling their cable subscriptions to watch their favorite shows online.
The four largest cable and satellite companies lost 1.5 million pay TV customers in 2017.
DirectTV Now has over 2 million subscribers, according to AT&T. Sling TV, Hulu and YouTube TV do not disclose how many users they have, but research firm BTIG estimates they respectively had 2.1 million, 500,000 and 350,000 as of the end of 2017.
The costs for these competing offerings range from $ 20 for Sling TV’s most basic offering of 30 channels to $ 39.99 for Hulu’s one with more than 50 channels and its library of shows and movies, which costs $ 7.99 separately.
Google is betting that its strong sports offering will help win over more subscribers, said Heather Moosnick, director of content partnerships, YouTube TV.
“Sports is really one of the key offerings that a millennial would be willing to pay for a live TV service,” she said.
To that end, Google has targeted sports fans with its TV ads this year. Ninety-six percent of YouTube TV’s ads on television so far this year have appeared during sports programming, including the Super Bowl, according to iSpot.tv, which tracks TV ads.
When Google launched YouTube TV last April it was cautious with how much content it was offering so that it could keep the price low enough to entice cord cutters or people considering cutting the cord, Moosnick said.
At launch YouTube TV offered almost 50 channels in five markets. With these additions, YouTube TV will have almost 60 channels, and be in 100 markets, Moosnick said.
The new pricing will take effect for new users who sign up after March 13, the company said.
Reporting By Jessica Toonkel; Editing by Susan Thomas
In 2018, the importance of being found online is key. It’s how most people search for, well, anything. That’s step one. After you’re found, you want to hold the attention of your potential customer or client. With everything online today, that’s not easy.
It’s no secret online video is engaging and growing in popularity. That’s the reason more and more people are turning to YouTube to spread their message – whatever it may be. According to FortuneLords.com, almost 5 billion videos are watched on Youtube every single day.
Focus on SEO
Yes, YouTube is a search engine, just like Google. It’s owned by Google, so the strategies are the same.
“If you can get the video to rank in Google, then a lot of the searches that are being performed on YouTube will click on your video in the results. Then, YouTube will judge your video based on how people interact with it. User engagement is the most important YouTube ranking signal, said Christoph Seitz, the CEO of CFR Rinkens.
Time your video
When you’re creating your video, try to make it at least five minutes long.
“Similar to text-based articles, longer videos rank higher. They consistently outperform shorter videos on YouTube and Google, said Dan Roberge President of Maintenance Care.
Remember, the length of time people are engaged plays into how high you rank on the platform.
Team up with other YouTubers
In order to stand out by using video online, utilize a recognizable influencer whose audience aligns with your target demographic.
This is something I did with YouTuber Sunny Lenarduzzi a few months ago. Because we both share the same audience and work to help them achieve the same goal by doing different things, it was a great fit.
Many marketers believe influencer marketing helps them raise brand awareness on social media.
Use other platforms to drive people to YouTube
In 2018, many people will not want to waste time. They simply want to get the information they need that they catch on their social feed.
“What organizations are doing to stand out is posting fun, informed content on YouTube, then distributing soundbites of that video through social media,” said Vijay Koduri, the Co-Founder of HashCut.
Koduri suggests teasing them with a five-second soundbite on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or over email and drive them to your YouTube channel to see more.
Michael Freeby, a model and photographer who has randomly amassed nearly half a million views on YouTube said, “Don’t try too hard. Always be yourself and stay the best representation of your brand.”
That doesn’t mean don’t create high-quality content that people will go out of their way to enjoy. You should do that, but remember your brand’s core message. Make the content less about yourself, and more about presenting something of value for your audience.
When he uploaded his first YouTube video, there was no way Kumar could have expected that he’d become a public face of H-1B visas: an advocate—and a whistleblower—for a way of life he can barely tolerate.
On his channel, Kumar Exclusive, Kumar serves as an everyman narrator of the experience of recipients of the coveted H-1B skilled worker visa, which allows foreign workers to fill technical jobs in America. His dispatches offer both user-friendly how-tos (how to find a job, how to avoid scams, how to win at an American-style interview) and warnings (tales of abusive bosses, short-term contracts, employees faking resumes to win visas, and companies that use lies to tempt foreign workers to the West). On YouTube, he’s amassed a small group following, whose members regularly watch his dispatches to gain practical advice for securing their spots as technical workers abroad.
Kumar’s first video was an afterthought—something he made on his lunch break. He’d left the low-slung office building where he worked processing data, sat in his car, and filmed with his cell phone on the dashboard. Quickly, he learned two things: There was an audience for his videos; he loved making them. It was also a distraction from his life on said visa, where he spends his time circling the country in search of short-term jobs that pay crap wages. His wife doesn’t like his hobby; she worries it’ll hurt his visa renewal. His friends have pointed out the people that threaten him, regularly, in the comments section.
None of this has stopped Kumar from filming thousands of videos. After all, he tells me, what else is he supposed to do?
“I don’t sleep, Alexis,” he says.
In a way, Kumar’s life is one big, messy juxtaposition. Our interview is yet another example of this. He’s eager to talk to me about the crappiest parts of the H-1B visa. Then again, our calls are frequently interrupted, because Kumar is looking for his next gig and needs to pick up call waiting in case it’s a recruiter.
By the time he got his H-1B visa, Kumar had been trying to enter the program for almost a decade. H-1B visas—which are granted each year to just 85,000 recipients, who hail predominantly from India and China—are tough to get; demand far outweighs supply. Though his bachelor’s degree was in literature, Kumar went back to school to earn a technical degree that would make him eligible for the program. Back in India, he’d been laid off from his government job when he received the news: His visa application had been approved.
The visa was tied to a job in New Jersey. The company would sponsor him and pay him a starting salary of $ 55,000 a year. In the summer of 2008, Kumar’s employer sent a plane ticket and he boarded a flight to Newark, leaving his wife and young son with his mother-in-law.
It felt like a fresh beginning. But quickly, he realized, he’d been unaware of the fine print. That job in New Jersey wasn’t quite a job—it was a project that would last for an uncertain amount of time. On paper, H-1Bs are tied to a specific company, making changing jobs or advancement difficult. (That’s one of the reasons the more flexible Optional Practical Training visa, or OPT, has become more popular.) But in practice, H-1B recipients are responsible for ensuring their continued employment, with jobs that could end at any moment.
Reading Kumar’s resume from his time in the United States, it would seem like he was working as a spy, or running from the law. In the 10 years he’s lived in America, he’s held jobs in over a dozen different cities. In 2010 alone he worked in North Carolina, Montana, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. (The project in Massachusetts lasted just 36 hours.) Eventually, he developed a system: He’d roll into town and stay in a motel while he looked for a more permanent place to live.
Kumar’s first job lasted just a few months. He picked up another project, this time in Maryland. He stayed in a motel for a week while he looked for housing, eventually decamping to the home of an Indian acquaintance, where he paid $ 700 a month for a room in the basement. When that job ended, he found another in Pennsylvania. He found himself criss-crossing through a strange country, whose small towns were proving trying.
The next year, he returned to India for surgery. But his visa required that he return to America within a few weeks, before he’d fully recovered. He was on bed rest, staying with a friend in Michigan, when he picked up his next contract—this time in North Carolina. He packed up his van and drove. Kumar was lonely; he was in pain. He cried for most of the trip.
By 2011, he’d saved up enough money for his wife and sons to join him. (That’s right: He now had two sons; his second son was born during the years he was working abroad.) Eventually, Kumar settled on the environs of Rochester, which is when he started commuting. He was hesitant to uproot his family for his erratic schedule, so he found himself driving wherever he got a project.
On Sunday evenings he’d drive 375-miles to a small Rhode Island city from Rochester. During the week he’d stay in a motel, and then dart off on Friday evenings for the trip back home. Another commute, this time to Ohio, was grueling enough that he thought about uprooting his family. But his manager was elusive on how long the job would last. His family stayed put.
Kumar says that the videos were a natural progression from his daily life. Despite his problems, Indian acquaintances often asked him for dispatches on his life in America. Once he started filming the videos, Kumar found that he had lots to say. His earliest videos are filled with practical advice. In one, titled “[sic] How to Get First Job,” he gives basic advice. (“Your resume is not your autobiography, if you put everything in the resume then what do you speak of in the interview?”) In another, called “Work Culture in America,” Kumar advises on how to get along with colleagues who might be annoyed by being around a foreigner. Over the years, his videos have become more controversial. He warns prospective visa recipients on what to avoid: fake job postings, lawyers who run away with H-1B money, and vendors who try to convince immigrants that fees should come out of their own pocket. He considers himself, in many ways, a truth teller.
Over the course of more than a thousand videos, Kumar’s production quality has improved a bit. Instead of speaking from memory, he now types up his points and reviews them off of a sheet of paper. He still films in his car or office, while pointing the camera at himself, selfie-style. Sometimes he films videos solely intended to delight. Last month, a Kumar video titled “[sic] The Beauty of America in fall season, NY,” showed a lake surrounded by trees with brilliant orange and red leaves.
In his YouTube bio, Kumar writes that the “highest ambition for any Indian” is coming to America, learning from the West, and returning back to India to change the system. And, as Kumar is the first to point out, without the H-1B program, he never would’ve gotten the chance to come. But that experience has been grueling. His kids, however, are thriving in American school. He’s not like other Indian parents, he tells me. He doesn’t force his kids to study; he doesn’t care if they become doctors. His oldest son, who is in seventh grade, likes basketball and dreams of going pro. He thinks adjusting to life back in India would be hard for them.
At one point, when his wife’s visa expired, Kumar suggested that she fake her resume and apply for an H-1B. Unlike her husband, she decided it wasn’t worth the hassle.
I interviewed Joseph Lubin, cofounder of Ethereum, the hottest blockchain network next to Bitcoin, on stage at the Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon, Portugal, this week. While we chatted, the world learned that hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Ether, the very much in vogue cryptocurrency Lubin helped launch in 2015, had effectively been vaporized.
The calamity was supposedly an accident. A self-described novice programmer going by the online alias “devops199” took control of a library of code used by certain digital wallets built by the Parity project, a group of crypto programmers. The code was hosted on the Ethereum blockchain, and it enabled multi-signature protection for cryptocurrency storage, where multiple keys are required to withdraw funds. Once the supposed amateur realized his coup, he executed a “kill” function that deleted the key bit of code—thus freezing accounts indefinitely. He rendered as much as $ 300 million in Ether inaccessible.
The lockdown affected all Parity-based multi-signature wallets created since July 20th. On that day, the Parity team updated its product to recover from another attack that allowed hackers to steal about $ 30 million worth of Ether from a few of these wallets. The developers failed to catch a mistake in the software that enabled anyone to claim ownership of that critical multi-sig code. It’s an ironic twist, given that the code was designed to help decentralize wallet ownership in the first place.
Despite the setback, the incident did not seem to diminish anyone’s enthusiasm for Ethereum at the Summit. I hosted another panel on ICOs, or initial coin offerings, a newfangled way to fund crypto ventures, that was packed to the brim with entrepreneurs interested in selling their own digital tokens. And its not just newcomers interested in the stuff. While prepping for another panel on how blockchains may affect the music industry, a manager for the musician Wyclef Jean probed for more information about the technology backstage.
As exciting a project as Ethereum is—and it is exciting—it is still young and untested. As I wrote in my profile of Ethereum’s boy wonder Vitalik Buterin a year ago: “Given the breaches, it’s fair to wonder: Will Ethereum and other blockchain networks ever be trusted enough to replace our current financial system?” We’re stilling grappling with that question today; Ethereum and its siblings hold much promise but, as Lubin agreed, there will be plenty more bumps and crashes along the way.
Enjoy the weekend.
Welcome to the Cyber Saturday edition of Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily tech newsletter. Fortune reporter Robert Hackett here. You may reach Robert Hackett via Twitter, Cryptocat, Jabber (see OTR fingerprint on my about.me), PGP encrypted email (see public key on my Keybase.io), Wickr, Signal, or however you (securely) prefer. Feedback welcome.
CSI iPhone Edition. Police can’t unlock the Texas church shooter’s phone, which sets the stage for a new legal battle over encryption. The tragedy also raised some morbid forensic questions—like when to use the finger of a dead suspect to unlock the phone’s TouchID or, in the case of the iPhone X, whether cops can use the face of a deceased suspect.
The missing factor. Three quarters of the population are neglecting to use multi-factor authentication, a key security feature that defends against account takeovers, according to survey conducted by the cybersecurity “unicorn” startup Duo. In fact, more than half of the survey’s respondents had never even heard of the security measure. Learn how to apply it here.
“F” is for friends. It’s always unsettling when Facebook prompts you to befriend a person you think Facebook has no business associating with you. The social network teases out subtle relationships between people by cross-correlating contact information from people’s inboxes and phones.
Open sesame. Benjamin Delpy’s powerful password-hacking tool Mimikatz has been showing up in Russian spy schemes and globe-circling, business-crippling ransomware attacks, like NotPetya and BadRabbit. Despite its misuse lately, the program was originally created to persuade Microsoft to fix the way Windows machines stored and secured passwords.
Don’t look at me! Russia did it. Ex-Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer blamed a massive hack that took place during her tenure at the Internet company on Russian agents during a Senate committee hearing. She testified this week alongside former Equifax CEO Richard Smith.
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—Fortune’s Jen Wieczner explains HPE’s new “blockchain as a service,” which could make it easier for banks, airlines and others to create secure transaction records.
ONE MORE THING
YouTube is systemically traumatizing your children. Artist and writer James Bridle exposed the seedy underbelly of Google’s streaming service in a widely shared essay on the blogging site Medium this week. Bridle dove into how shady content shops use automated bots to churn out hours upon hours of violent, sinister, abusive video content that targets young kids—a problem that YouTube is doing a terrible job of policing. “Disturbing” doesn’t even begin to describe this phenomenon.
YouTube won’t stand for any kind of resistance. The site, which recently announced that it will launch its own paid streaming music service, is threatening various record labels by saying it will remove videos affiliated with these groups. Artists involved in this dispute include Radiohead, Adele, Jack White, Arctic Monkeys and Vampire Weekend. According to […]
A war is raging on one of the longest-running servers in Minecraft, 2b2t. Some of the battle is fought with diamond swords and lava buckets, as you might expect, but the rest of it unfolds with racist memes, shocking gore and porn, as well as monstrous contraptions designed to make the server literally unplayable. It’s not just a war for imaginary space: it’s a war for what kind of server 2b2t wants to be.