Nov 10, 2017

YouTube says it will improve filtering of kids videos

Robert Kyncl, YouTube Chief Business Officer, speaks about YouTube Kids. Photo: Danny Moloshok / AP

YouTube already doesn't allow video creators to make money by the inappropriate use of family-friendly characters. Now the video platform says it will also implement a new policy to age-restrict inappropriate content so it is automatically blocked from showing up in the YouTube Kids app, The Verge reports.

Why it matters: The kids YouTube video genre got a lot of attention this week with a well-read Medium post and a New York Times story about the bizarre and sometimes disturbing videos that turn up in YouTube search results, and the video factories that have learned how to game the algorithms to slip jarring content disguised as children-friendly videos through the YouTube filters.

YouTube says the problem is relatively small, and that most inappropriate content not caught by algorithms is flagged by users or human employees. The Verge reports that YouTube is also exempting age-restricted content from advertising, so it's willing to forgo ad revenue from the strange kids videos.

Go deeper

Tech's long hot summer of antitrust

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Google, Facebook and other tech giants face a summer of regulatory grilling as long-running investigations into potential anticompetitive practices likely come to a head.

The big picture: Probes into the power of Big Tech launched by federal and state authorities are turning a year old, and observers expect action in the form of formal lawsuits and potentially damning reports — even as the companies have become a lifeline for Americans during the pandemic lockdown.

Palantir CEO hits Silicon Valley "monoculture," may leave California

Palantir is "getting close" to a decision on whether to move the company out of California, CEO Alex Karp said in an interview for "Axios on HBO."

The state of play: "We haven't picked a place yet, but it's going to be closer to the East Coast than the West Coast. ... If I had to guess, I would guess something like Colorado."

A reckoning for Russia's space program

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

SpaceX's first attempt at launching astronauts from American soil this week is a historic moment that will stress the decades-long relationship between the U.S. and Russia in space.

Why it matters: Since the Cold War, the U.S. and Russia have collaborated intimately in space. As the U.S. regains the ability to launch people with its own rockets, the future of Russia's already struggling civil space program — and how the U.S. will collaborate with it — is unclear.