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The internet was created by adults for adults, but it has seen a sharp uptick in kid users over the past 10 years.
Why it matters: Silicon Valley has bet its future on younger users, but has come under fire recently for building products that critics say aren't safe for children.
Dylan Collins, CEO of SuperAwesome, a technology platform used to power kid-safe digital engagement for hundreds of companies, argues that a bias among engineers towards building products for adults has led to some of these problems:
"Some companies' engineering rationale only works when applied to adult use cases. When released in the children's space, those same engineering decisions don't work."
For example, most adult-based services, like YouTube, use moderators to address bad content that isn’t caught by algorithms and automation, Collins says. That approach, which still leaves bad content on the platform until a human catches it, doesn’t cut it when the target audience is kids.
Kids' internet access began to increase when Apple launched the iPad in 2010. Their screen time has only increased since then.
The bigger picture: Critics say tech warps the minds of users who aren't mature enough to use it well — and gathers their data. "The race to keep children’s attention trains them to replace their self-worth with likes, encourages comparison with others, and creates the constant illusion of missing out," says the Center for Humane Technology, a group launched this week by engineers and investors.
What's next: Critics of Big Tech are starting to use the public health concerns about its products to advance their advocacy in Washington and the Valley. Common Sense Media is hosting a conference Wednesday in D.C. to explore how tech companies manage children's tech addiction, featuring lawmakers that have been friendly to tech in the past, but no representatives from tech companies.
Google says that roughly 1% of publishers aren't compliant with the industry's third-party ad blocking standards, meaning a vast majority of websites will not be impacted by the ad blocker the tech giant will install in its latest version of the Google Chrome web browser next week.
Why it matters: Publishers were initially worried when the ad blocker was announced eight months ago that compliance would be difficult, hindering their ability to make ad revenue. This data should mitigate those concerns.
Sites like the LA Times, Chicago Tribune and Forbes that initially violated the Coalition's standards were made aware of their ad violations through Google's Ad Experience report for publishers, which was provided to publishers a few months ago.
According to Google's research:
Go deeper: 3 misconceptions about the blocker.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios
A number of major media deals are facing uncertain futures since the DOJ unexpectedly sued to block the $85 billion AT&T merger with Time Warner in November.
Why it matters: The unexpected litigation is slowing momentum at a time when media companies are looking to consolidate to survive.
"In a horizontal merger, (like the one between Disney and Fox), where two likeminded companies combine, they overcome this a bit because there's clear precedent set. But that's missing in a vertical merger. No vertical merger law has passed since the 1970s."— DC antitrust lawyer and former DOJ antitrust trial attorney David Balto
The political nature of Trump's involvement with high-profile deals could also affect billions of dollars of deals to come. Sources say it's absolutely plausible to think his personal vendetta against CNN could impact the deal landscape, but that the current antitrust chief, Makan Delrahim, is not one who is likely to consider that opinion.
The big deals coming down the pike this year:
Fun read: Recode's Edmund Lee lays out a good case for why Amazon should buy CBS.
Want to get smarter about deals and dealmakers shaping M&A and VC conversations? Sign up for Axios' Pro Rata newsletter authored by Dan Primack.
What we're watching:
The youths may be flooding the internet, but social media sites are still trying to lure parents to their platforms by offering them parenting-specific content.