- YouTube will soon remove personalized ads from children’s content after the Federal Trade Commission determined that it had violated children’s privacy laws by placing targeted ads over kids’ content.
- Following YouTube’s announcement, creators like Jeremy Johnston of J House Vlogs are now bringing their concerns directly before the Federal Trade Commission during their open window, which closes Dec. 9.
- Among other concerns, creators are asking the FTC to provide a better definition of “child-directed” content out of fear that they may still lose ads on video that may be deemed “attractive,” but not necessarily directed at children.
YouTubers Lobby FTC
Children’s content creators and family bloggers on YouTube are lobbying against upcoming changes to an online child privacy law, which they say will affect the quality of their videos and how those videos make money.
As of Thursday afternoon, a Change.org petition arguing against the changes has attracted more than 38,000 signatures. The petition was started by Jeremy Johnston who, along with his wife Kendra, run the family vlogging channel J House Vlogs.
In September, YouTube announced that it would be changing the way it displays ads on children’s content. The changes are meant to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act after the Federal Trade Commission and New York Attorney General Letitia James accused YouTube of illegally collecting personal information from children to show them targeted ads.
Regarding ads, YouTube uses two types: general and personalized ads. General ads appear regardless of a user’s viewing history, but personalized ads look at a user’s viewing history to present products or services a user may be more interested in.
Because of the changes to COPPA, YouTube said it will remove all personalized ads on children’s content in January. The FTC also said it would hear public comments until Oct. 23 before enforcing new COPPA guidelines.
As a result, Johnston has lobbied the Federal Trade Commission in an attempt to add exceptions to children’s content creators.
Johnston Speaks with Rogue Rocket
In an interview with Rogue Rocket, Johnston said he filed a request to extend the FTC’s public comments period until Dec. 9, which was later approved.
Johnston told Rogue Rocket he made the filing after meeting with the FTC. During the meeting, he said the commission was unaware that personalized and general ads paid different amounts to creators.
While Johnston said he thought the FTC was legitimately trying to do what’s best for children, he also said FTC was largely unaware of creators’ concerns beforehand.
Regarding his own channel, Johnston said he and his wife have already decided to pull the plug on a planned children’s channel called J House Jr.
While he said big creators can find other ways to generate money, through brand deals or other projects, he also said losing personalized ads can be devastating for channels.
“That isn’t going to be available for the small creators in the future, and that’s a big reason why I’m speaking out,” he told Rogue Rocket. “I wouldn’t be doing all of this if it was just about my channel. But I’m considering other people like me or other people five years, 10 years from now who want to get going. I’m so grateful that when I took that leap of faith to say ‘I’m going to do YouTube full-time’ that ad revenue made that possible.”
Although Johnston said he understands the need for parents to have control in their kids’ privacy online, he said the new changes won’t do that.
“We care about children’s privacy,” he said. “We are just saying that this regulation is going to do more harm than good. I think it’s really important that we all recognize that the majority of parents are letting their children watch YouTube main.”
“We’re wanting parents to continue making that choice with the government coming in and overriding the parents’ decision,” he continued. “If parents were really concerned with personalized ads, it raises the question, why are they all letting their children watch YouTube main?”
What’s in the Petition?
Specifically, the creators and supporters who’ve signed that petition are asking the FTC to provide a statement on how COPPA will be enforced against creators, as well as clarify the definition of “child-directed” content.
One major concern for creators is the specific use of the language “child-directed.” Currently, the FTC is debating whether or not to add “child-attractive” content, ie. content that is marketed to a general audience but could still be considered friendly for children to watch.
The petition also requests that the FTC delay enforcement any changes until it finishes reviewing COPPA.
It ends by asking the FTC to encourage parents to use apps like YouTube Kids instead of forcing creators to turn off personalized ads.
According to Bloomberg, YouTube Kids currently only attracts about 1% of YouTube’s total audience even though kids’ content is the most-viewed on YouTube.
Why Is This Important to Viewers?
While some viewers find ads annoying, many creators make money by placing ads in front of their videos.
According to Tubefilter, general ads can bring in anywhere from 60 to 90% less than personalized ads. Creators fear that the loss of revenue could, in turn, hurt the quality of their videos.
In fact, Johnston says a lot of the money made from J House Vlogs videos goes back into making quality content on the channel.
In addition to that, creators also worry their content could be fined for violating COPPA, with that fine being up to $42,530. Creators like Johnston and Derral Eves say that these concerns could also result in more mature content on YouTube.
See what others are saying: (Bloomberg) (Tubefilter)
Shane Dawson Says Hurtful Comments Are the Reason He Doesn’t Upload More
- Shane Dawson uploaded a video to his new YouTube channel dedicated to makeup videos and other “random” posts.
- Shortly after his latest video went live, Dawson shared a comment someone left about his weight, saying that comments like these are what keep him from uploading more.
- After a flood of support, Dawson apologized for posting the screenshot and said he was taking a break from the internet.
Long-time YouTuber Shane Dawson opened up on Wednesday about negative comments that make him hesitant to upload more content.
As you probably already know, Dawson has a massively successful channel with over 23 million subscribers. And while fans love when he drops a new docuseries, he regularly hears complaints that he doesn’t upload enough.
At some point during the process of his recent makeup collaboration with Jeffree Star Cosmetics, he was inspired to create a new channel, ShaneGlossin, which is named after a lip gloss included in his collection. Dawson does already have a second channel, Shane Dawson TV, though he hasn’t uploaded through that account in several years.
In January, Dawson made his followers aware of the third account, calling it a low-pressure place to post makeup videos and other random content.
Shane Tweets About Negative Comments
While his main channel has remained inactive over the past two months, Dawson has uploaded a few videos to his new channel, which currently sits at just over 3 million subscribers. On Wednesday, he uploaded a light-hearted video about his bedazzling obsession and shortly after the video went live, he shared a screenshot of a comment someone left under it.
The comment he shared read: “I love Shane but it’s a damn shame to watch him putting all this weight back on while everyone around him laughs and enables it.”
“Hey Shane why don’t u post more? Why don’t u upload more? Well… this 🙃,” Dawson wrote in the tweet that accompanied the screenshot. “You would think after 13 years on youtube comments wouldn’t get to me but damn… they still feel like the very first time haha.”
It’s no secret that for years, Dawson has been open about his weight insecurities, body image issues, and mental health struggles. After sharing the comment, fans quickly flooded him with messages of love and support.
In a follow-up post, Dawson apologized for sharing the screenshot “Thanks for the nice tweets. I appreciate it a lot,” he wrote. “Sorry I got sensitive and posted that. I usually just ignore stuff but I’m just in a weird headspace lately :/ I think I’m gonna take a break from the internet for a bit. Thanks for being supportive and having my back.”
While Dawson has been met with kindness from friends and fans, his post highlights the impact hate comments on social media can have on a person, no matter how big or small their following.
See what others are saying: (Dexerto) (Pop Buzz) (Distractify)
Ninja Sparks Conversations About Dealing With Gaming Losses
- Ninja tweeted that the phrase “it’s just a game” signals a weak mindset and was critical of players who are not angry after a loss.
- Some saw it as a message about improvement and taking the game seriously, while others used it as an opportunity to make jokes.
- But many said the comments send a bad message to his young audience and argued that you do not need to become angry to learn from a loss.
Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, one of the Internet’s biggest gamers, called out players who aren’t angry after a loss, sparking conversations about healthy ways to deal with failure.
On Tuesday, Ninja tweeted, “The phrase ‘it’s just a game’ is such a weak mindset. You are ok with what happened, losing, imperfection of a craft. When you stop getting angry after losing, you’ve lost twice.”
“There’s always something to learn, and always room for improvement, never settle,” he added.
Many interpreted his tweet as an inspirational message about taking gaming seriously and agreed with him.
I totally agree, nowadays it’s mainly PvP, meaning someone with skills better than yours beat you, there is nothing wrong with striving to be the best or having emotions after a lost, it’s a game you care about, your passion for it should be unbeatable.— Xynotexx (@xynotexx) February 19, 2020
Others used it as an opportunity to crack jokes about his intense remarks, including Lil Nas X and KSI.
But plenty of others thought his comments actually sent a dangerous message about dealing with and learning from failure.
Gaming YouTuber Ohmwrecker, also known as MaskedGamer, disagreed with Ninja. In a response tweet, he said, “You don’t have to be a sore / salty loser and get all toxic to learn from a loss. I feel strongly losing helps you get better, especially in competitive games. Anyone doing anything competitive should find value in a loss, but don’t need anger to benefit.”
He also said it actually was weak to suggest that managing your emotions is “losing twice” and accused Ninja of trying to justify his own internal challenges.
Thousands of other users chimed in expressing similar sentiments about managing emotions.
Dig the sentiment but you can still care about your craft and not get angry after losing.— Cohh Carnage (@CohhCarnage) February 18, 2020
I used to get super angry when I would perform badly. But lately it’s much more about analyzing, learning, etc. Just accepting that losing is the first step in that process of learning.👍
Ninja Says He Never Suggested Violent Rage Was Appropriate
In a now-deleted tweet, another person called Ninja’s stance disappointing, “particularly from someone with an audience who will take this as ‘it’s ok to smash my keyboard/scream at my loved ones/punch a hole in the wall just because I lost a game.’”
Ninja responded to that user with, “Where in this tweet do I say punch a wall and smash a keyboard/rage? It’s the way you perceived the message 🤔”
When someone argued that Ninja was essentially telling kids to keep playing until they win otherwise they are failures, Ninja said, “‘There is always room for improvement, never settle’ is bad advice?”
The wave of backlash doesn’t seem to have changed Ninja’s mind about his long-running issue with people who say “its just a game.” One user even shared a clip of Ninja once commenting on this topic. “Imagine telling Lebron James, Tom Brady, that when they’re pissed off after losing a game that ‘its just a game,” he says in the clip.
“Are you kidding me? You’re so stupid. It’s the competitive nature bro. It’s about respect bro. It’s about pride. It’s so much bigger than a fucking video game, and anyone that ever users the excuse ‘it’s just a game’ is a horrible human being and is lazy.”
Facts though. pic.twitter.com/puQbtyVI8d— BR1CK (@BR1CKmixer) February 18, 2020
Jake Paul Criticized for Tweets About Anxiety
- YouTuber Jake Paul tweeted, “remember anxiety is created by you,” before advising his followers who might be struggling to remind themselves to be happy, relax their minds, and talk to a friend.
- Many found his comments insulting and dangerous, but others defended him for what they felt was a well-intentioned tweet with advice that some might find helpful.
- In a follow-up tweet, Paul opened up about his own anxiety issues and explained that he was trying to say there are ways to help cope, but he eventually deleted that post along with his initial tweet.
“Anxiety is Created by You”
Internet users are slamming YouTuber Jake Paul over a tweet about mental health that many found dangerous and insulting.
On Monday the 23-year-old tweeted, “remember anxiety is created by you. sometimes you gotta let life play out and remind yourself to be happy & that the answers will come.”
“Chill your mind out,” he added before recommending that those struggling “go for a walk” or “talk to a friend.”
The tweet prompted thousands of responses from internet users. Many, of course, joked that Paul had “cured” their anxiety.
Meanwhile, others fired back with more serious responses, including people who suffer from anxiety themselves.
Fellow YouTubers like Sierra Schultzzie also chimed in writing, “This is actually really harmful. Anxiety can be incredibly physical as well as mental. Mental illness is not the fault of the sufferer.”
“Please delete this, you are doing actual harm to your followers who very well may need to be seeking professional help for their problems,” she added.
Colleen Ballinger tweeted, “telling people with anxiety to just stop having anxiety does not help them with their anxiety.”
Andrea Russett wrote, “i can’t believe i’m paying $200 an hour for therapy when i could just remind myself to be happy.”
Paul Tries to Clarify
After seeing some backlash, Paul went back to Twitter with a follow-up post to expand on what he meant. “What I meant is that your anxiety can build up if you let it,” he wrote, “it doesn’t just go away.”
“Mine never does but there’s days where it’s really bad and then there’s days when it’s not as bad so if anxiety starts to build up there ARE ways to help it chill out.”
In another tweet, he wrote: “everyone is clowning my tweet but not it’s spreading more awareness about anxiety which I didn’t even know was a thing till I was 18 but had it my whole life & never knew how to deal with it.”
“If u think u have it or wanna deal with it try reading this,” Paul added along with a link to an article about coping with anxiety from Healthline.com.
In response to those comments, more influencers explained what exactly their issues were with his initial post.
Taylor Nicole Dean said, “ur tweet spread bAD info about anxiety bc it can stop people from getting help when it’s needed thinking they can just walk it off and chill :/ it was also a lil insulting to those who deal with it.”
ur tweet spread bAD info about anxiety bc it can stop people from getting help when it’s needed thinking they can just walk it off and chill :/ it was also a lil insulting to those who deal with it. those “clowning” r the ones providing good info. Just say my bad n move on 😭— taylor nicole dean (@taylorndean) February 18, 2020
Sky Williams responded by telling Paul his tweet was dangerous to his young audience. “Anxiety is bad enough as it is, but now you’re trying to make it seem like its our fault that we feel anxious. it’s just so invalidating and shortsighted. You should delete it.”
nobody is ‘clowning’ on your tweet— ♡♪!? (@SkyWilliams) February 18, 2020
your tweet is dangerous to your young impressionable audience. anxiety is bad enough as it is, but now you’re trying to make it seem like its our fault that we feel anxious.
it’s just so invalidating and shortsighted.
You should delete it.
Paul eventually deleted his initial post as well as his follow up tweet, but left up think link he shared about coping with anxiety.
Some Defend Paul
Despite the widespread backlash against Paul, many felt that his tweet was well-intentioned and could be helpful advice for some.
Honestly it wasn’t amazingly said but if you have a brain you could clearly see that he wasn’t saying it with bad intentions at all. I mean after all at least he is trying to help people. Everyone just needs something to hate on.— Zak (@ZakHoule) February 18, 2020
i think it should be noted that he is not saying this is a cure for anxiety. what he is doing is sharing a couple of things that help him cope with some of his own anxieties. this doesnt mean it will work for everyone nor is he arguing that.— andrea. (@Drey_Faris23) February 18, 2020
Others argued that he shouldn’t be attacked for trying to share advice that has helped him. Instead, those who took issue with his phrasing or message should use this as an opportunity to educate.