Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

YouTube said Tuesday that it has updated its technology to enable the tech giant to better enforce its age restriction policies.

Why it matters: The company has been criticized and penalized for its policies and architecture that displayed harmful content to kids and violated children's data privacy.

The company is announcing three new changes:

  1. It will begin using machine learning to automatically apply age restrictions to content on its platform around the world.
  2. It's using technology to identify age-restrictive content so that when viewers discover age-restricted videos embedded on most third-party websites, they will now be required to log in to watch those videos in order to verify their age.
  3. It will start to request that some users in Europe verify their age with a valid ID or credit card, in response to new EU regulations, like the Audiovisual Media Services Directive.

The big picture: The company has long had age restrictions for content, but critics have argued that its enforcement mechanisms haven't always been strong enough to protect kids.

  • The company launched a standalone YouTube Kids app for users under the age of 13 last year, but many underage children still access YouTube through its main app.
  • Its parent company Google was forced to pay $170 million to settle a Federal Trade Commission complaint last year that alleged YouTube illegally collected children's personal information.

Go deeper: YouTube's kid problem is more than child's play

Go deeper

Oct 22, 2020 - Science

Study: Older chimpanzees, like humans, favor a few close friends

Friends groom together. Photo: Ronan Donovan

In our old age, humans tend to invest in fewer but more positive relationships. A new study of wild chimpanzees finds they seem to do the same.

The big picture: Prioritizing relationships as we age is thought to be tied to our unique awareness of our mortality, but the new findings suggest "social selectivity can emerge in the absence of complex future-oriented cognition," the authors write today in the journal Science.

Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging — Pence no longer expected to attend Barrett confirmation vote after COVID exposure.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week — U.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
  6. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.
Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Japan's big new climate goal

Climate protest in Tokyo in November 2019. Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

Japan's new prime minister said on Monday the nation will seek to become carbon neutral by 2050, a move that will require huge changes in its fossil fuel-heavy energy mix in order to succeed.

Why it matters: Japan is the world's fifth-largest source of carbon emissions. The new goal announced by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is stronger than the country's previous target of becoming carbon neutral as early as possible in the latter half of the century.