The Federal Trade Commission is planning to enforce COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) to content creators on Youtube, but what does that mean for animators on the platform? It could mean that animators are forced yet again to change their content and / or leave the platform altogether to find a different source of income. Youtube is always changing and it always seems like the animators are caught yet again in the crossfire. Potentially thousands of animators on Youtube could be demonetized come January 2020.
Kids content is under fire by COPPA
For a while now Youtube was breaking the law by collecting information on kids below 13 years old and displaying targeted ads to them. This resulted in the FTC taking action to update the COPPA laws and even enforcing these laws not just to Youtube but individual channels and creators as well. This means the FTC will have full power to shut down channels and even fine content creators if they feel like these laws are being broken.
So why does this especially affect animators? Because most of the time people consider animated content kids content. This will most likely force many animators into demonetization if they do make kids content, or get falsely marked and demonetized even though their video wasn’t meant for kids. People’s futures will rely on the decision of Google bots and people will always fear if their video will be next on the chopping block.
The FTC even stated one of the factors that classifies a video as for kids,
“the use of animated characters…” So you can imagine just how many animators will be caught up in false claims with no mention of a repeal process.
The Good News
In light of all the uproar, there is some good news! The FTC released more specific information about animated content and it does show that they are listening to the community. Here is the statement:
With this statement, most of our absolute worst fears are now mitigated, but there is still the worry of animated content in general being falsely marked by bots just because they do have flashy animated characters and colors. It will all depend on how accurate the bots can sift through the billions of videos on Youtube. There will surely be many innocent channels that get demonetized before being repealed (if there will be a repeal process in the first place).
Not only that, but this will not help animators that do make kids content as they will have no incentive to create more animations for kids. Those animators will be forced to change their animations entirely for an older audience just to have the option to make money. This will most likely evaporate the content that COPPA is trying to protect in the first place.
Only time will tell what damage COPPA will cause to the animators, but until then everyone lies in wait for the New Year to see where their future will go.
The Anim8 Plug
It’s big events like these that make us feel Anim8 will be more and more relevant in the future as social media and laws constantly change at the expense of the animators. If you are an animator on Youtube and you feel like your channel is in danger of COPPA, consider making an account on Anim8.io to help us help you secure a better future for our kind!
Our promise is that we will always put the animators first before anything else and that will always be the direction we take for the foreseeable future. We are in heavy development to make animator-specific features to ensure our platform will be the best place for watching, making, and monetizing animations.