📑 YouTube’s kids app has a rabbit hole problem

Bookmarked YouTube’s kids app has a rabbit hole problem by Rebecca Heilweil (Vox)

The company says it’s adding more control over autoplay in the YouTube Kids app.

Rebecca Heilweil takes a look at the way in which YouTube Kids and the autoplay function acts as a gateway to questionable content.

Trahan says she’s worried the default autoplay setting is a manipulative design tactic meant to keep children online for as long as possible, a concern she raised with Google CEO Sundar Pichai during a March hearing about misinformation. She’s not alone. A recent letter to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki from the House Oversight Committee’s subcommittee on consumer and economic policy, which has launched an investigation into the platform, says the app is harmful because it “places the onus on the child to stop their viewing activity, rather than providing a natural break or endpoint.”

One of the concerns raised is that, unlike YouTube, there is no ability to turn the autoplay function, which limits how parents can control the app.

In some ways, this touches on James Bridle’s concern about the algorithmic nightmare associated with YouTube Kids.

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