YouTube channel owners: Is your content directed to children?

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Under COPPA, how do I know if my channel is “directed to children”? Since the FTC and New York Attorney General announced their September 2019 settlement with YouTube for violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule, we’ve heard that question from channel owners – sometimes called content creators. If you’re a channel owner who shares content on user-generated platforms like YouTube, read on for FTC staff guidance about the applicability of the COPPA Rule and how those covered by the Rule can comply with its requirements.

The FTC action against YouTube and Google

The lawsuit against YouTube and Google alleged that the companies illegally collected personal information from children, in violation of COPPA. According to the complaint, the companies collected that information from viewers of child-directed YouTube channels in the form of persistent identifiers that track users across the Internet, but didn’t notify parents and get their consent. To settle the case, YouTube and Google agreed to create a mechanism so that channel owners can designate when the videos they upload to YouTube are – to use the words of COPPA – “directed to children.” The purpose of this requirement is to make sure that both YouTube and channel owners are complying with the law.

A COPPA recap

That provision of the settlement has raised questions among content creators about how to determine if what they upload to YouTube or other platforms is “directed to children.” The answer requires a brief summary of some key COPPA provisions. Passed by Congress in 1998, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act is a federal law that protects the privacy of children under 13. COPPA’s foundational principle is one that most people can agree on: Parents – not kids, companies, platforms, or content creators – should be in control when it comes to information collected from children online.

The FTC enforces the law through the COPPA Rule. In general, COPPA requires operators of commercial websites and online services that are directed to children (more about that in a minute) to provide notice and obtain verifiable parental consent before they collect personal information from kids under 13.

The COPPA Rule defines “personal information” to include obvious things like a child’s first and last name or home address, but that’s not all. Under COPPA, personal information also covers what are called persistent identifiers – behind-the-scenes code that recognizes a user over time and across different sites or online services. That could be an IP address or a cookie when it’s used to serve targeted ads. Keep in mind that an operator also might be collecting personal information through an open comment field on its site or service that allows a user under 13 to make personal information publicly available. For example, think of a comment like this on a child-directed site: My name is Mary Jones from Springfield. I love this video!

How COPPA applies to channel owners

So how does COPPA apply to channel owners who upload their content to YouTube or another third-party platform? COPPA applies in the same way it would if the channel owner had its own website or app. If a channel owner uploads content to a platform like YouTube, the channel might meet the definition of a “website or online service” covered by COPPA, depending on the nature of the content and the information collected. If the content is directed to children and if the channel owner, or someone on its behalf (for example, an ad network), collects personal information from viewers of that content (for example, through a persistent identifier that tracks a user to serve interest-based ads), the channel is covered by COPPA. Once COPPA applies, the operator must provide notice, obtain verifiable parental consent, and meet COPPA’s other requirements. For information on how to comply with COPPA, please visit the FTC’s COPPA page for our Six-Step Compliance Plan for Your Business.

How channel owners can determine if their content is directed to children

Under COPPA, there is no one-size-fits-all answer about what makes a site directed to children, but we can offer some guidance. To be clear, your content isn’t considered “directed to children” just because some children may see it. However, if your intended audience is kids under 13, you’re covered by COPPA and have to honor the Rule’s requirements.

The Rule sets out additional factors the FTC will consider in determining whether your content is child-directed:

  • the subject matter,
  • visual content,
  • the use of animated characters or child-oriented activities and incentives,
  • the kind of music or other audio content,
  • the age of models,
  • the presence of child celebrities or celebrities who appeal to children,
  • language or other characteristics of the site,
  • whether advertising that promotes or appears on the site is directed to children, and
  • competent and reliable empirical evidence about the age of the audience.

The determination of whether content is child-directed will be clearer in some contexts than in others, but we can share some general rules of thumb. First, unless you’re affirmatively targeting kids, there are many subject matter categories where you don’t have to worry about COPPA. For example, if your videos are about traditionally adult activities like employment, finances, politics, home ownership, home improvement, or travel, you’re probably not covered unless your content is geared toward kids. The same would be true for videos aimed at high school or college students. On the other hand, if your content includes traditional children’s pastimes or activities, it may be child-directed. For example, the FTC recently determined that an online dress-up game was child-directed.

Second, just because your video has bright colors or animated characters doesn’t mean you’re automatically covered by COPPA. While many animated shows are directed to kids, the FTC recognizes there can be animated programming that appeals to everyone.

Third, the complaint in the YouTube case offers some examples of channels the FTC considered to be directed to children. For example, many content creators explicitly stated in the “About” section of their YouTube channel that their intended audience was children under 13. Other channels made similar statements in communications with YouTube. In addition, many of the channels featured popular animated children’s programs or showed kids playing with toys or participating in other child-oriented activities. Some of the channel owners also enabled settings that made their content appear when users searched for the names of popular toys or animated characters. Want to see the FTC’s analysis in context? Read pages 10-14 of the YouTube complaint.

Finally, if you’ve applied the factors listed in the COPPA Rule and still wonder if your content is “directed to children,” it might help to consider how others view your content and content similar to yours. Has your channel been reviewed on sites that evaluate content for kids? Is your channel – or channels like yours – mentioned in blogs for parents of young children or in media articles about child-directed content? Have you surveyed your users or is there other empirical evidence about the age of your audience?

What are the possible penalties for violating COPPA?

The Rule allows for civil penalties of up to $42,530 per violation, but the FTC considers a number of factors in determining the appropriate amount, including a company’s financial condition and the impact a penalty could have on its ability to stay in business. While Google and YouTube paid $170 million, in another COPPA case settled this year, the operator paid a total civil penalty of $35,000.

Isn’t the FTC taking another look at the COPPA Rule?

Yes, the FTC is currently evaluating the Rule in light of rapid changes in technology. If you would like to comment on the effectiveness of the COPPA Rule and whether changes are needed, the FTC has extended the comment deadline to December 9, 2019.

Where can channel owners go for more information?

A look at the factors in the COPPA Rule will help most channel owners determine if their content is directed to children. If you’re still unsure about how COPPA applies to you, consider contacting an attorney or consulting with one of the COPPA Safe Harbor programs – self-regulatory groups that offer guidance on how operators can comply with the law. Visit the FTC’s website for a list of currently approved Safe Harbor organizations. For more resources, visit the FTC’s Children’s Privacy page for our Six-Step Compliance Plan for Your Business.

 
 
 

Comments

The complaint in the YouTube case offers some examples of channels the FTC considered to be directed to children. For example, many content creators explicitly stated in the “About” section of their YouTube channel that their intended audience was children under 13. Other channels made similar statements in communications with YouTube. In addition, many of the channels featured popular animated children’s programs or showed kids playing with toys or participating in other child-oriented activities. Some of the channel owners also enabled settings that made their content appear when users searched for the names of popular toys or animated characters. Read pages 10-14 of the YouTube complaint to see the FTC’s analysis in context.

Lets say , i make fortnite and minecract content but i dont make it for kids . Does it mean because the majority of people playing these games are kids , i will have to set it "for kids content"?

Why would you consider changing the law from "Child Directed" to "Child Attractive"?
That's gonna basically terminate everyone on YouTube. EVERYONE! Child attractive will apply to basically anything.

Please do NOT make this so harsh, YouTube isn't telling us the whole side of things.
Please, Save our lives.

The regulations mentioned "child models'. How will this impact family vlogs, instruction craft videos targeting teachers, and homeschool videos that will obviously at some point have children in them?

I hope Coppa gets good. I never heard that the creators get to decide what money to pay. Please let me know.

I believe that the proposal to fine creators for their animation that “may” be guided to children seems a bit ridiculous. From what I’ve read, most of the subject matters and pieces of content that is trying to be regulated can fall into many other categories that just simply makes this proposal too vague. As for this regulation, I just believe that the content can be pertained to a variety of demographics, adults can have found memories of these “colorful and vibrant” animations that may be subjected to them, but from an outside perspective may seem like it’s guided to children. To simply put it, this “regulation” is way to vague and needs a bit of clarification before it ruins what I want to watch and forces me to watch what the regulation wants.

I believe that the proposal to fine creators for their animation that “may” be guided to children seems a bit ridiculous. From what I’ve read, most of the subject matters and pieces of content that is trying to be regulated can fall into many other categories that just simply makes this proposal too vague. As for this regulation, I just believe that the content can be pertained to a variety of demographics, adults can have found memories of these “colorful and vibrant” animations that may be subjected to them, but from an outside perspective may seem like it’s guided to children. To simply put it, this “regulation” is way to vague and needs a bit of clarification before it ruins what I want to watch and forces me to watch what the regulation wants.

As a avid YouTube viewer, I want to know if ALL of my personal choices are going to be taken away from me without my consent. I enjoy a diverse array of things on YouTube, and I subscribe to channels like true crime, the paranormal, comedy like Jeff Dunham, and nature/animal rescue. This law sounds like the ONLY thing which will be allowed on YouTube after January 1st is children's programming. Am I to lose my right to watch what I please just because I am an adult?

If my channel is just talking about roller coasters, do I have to mark my videos as kid friendly?

I don’t feel that this new policy will change in children. It’s very easy for a child to create a new email and lie about their age. This policy will do nothing but hurt the children and content creators like myself in which I cannot afford $42,000. I don’t even get paid for my own videos. Most content and non content creators know that adults likes topics that are just as satisfying to children such as toys, kids movies, highly saturated videos and animation. I believe that the best way to keep children from watching mature content is to make people sign a google account and put in their social security number. That way the children has to ask their parents for their social security number and there’s no possible way that the parents can just hand it to their kids and not ask why. It’s the same as people under the age of 18 needs to show their identification to be able to see an R rated movie. Please consider this idea, I really think that having us enter our social security number makes more sense instead of flagging content for stereotypical reason.

If this policy goes through I believe that this will not only hurt the content creators but the general audience as well. People will be afraid to upload a content to YouTube because I myself and others will be afraid to be fined $42,000 for a stereotypical reason. What will make YouTube safer and easier without anyone losing their content is to have people got to their google account and enter their social security number. That will give the advantage of telling the government important information that verifies how old the audience is.

This wont work due to google getting sensitive i formation such as social security numbers and those who do not reside in the US.

As a viewer of Crafting videos, all of my channels that I enjoy fall into one of these child friendly catagories. If you make it so I can't search, or comment or ask questions, it takes away from the experience totally. By these rules as they are currently worded, You tube and other video platforms will only be adult in content. How does that stop children from seeing them? While, the videos that are more wholesome and family friendly- will no longer be found. Only violent and adult content will be promoted? That is not protecting the targeted audience! Review your guidelines and amend this ruling!

Why You destroy YOUTUBE? Let parents do their job!

Hello, I am a crafter that does mainly sewing and crochet work. I do paper crafts but more for adult themed . I am honestly confused on how to mark my videos so I took them all down. Until YouTube and FTC can decide what is able to be "kid friendly" and not I do not know myself. I make pretty boring videos for a young child . Most of my audience is around 30 and above that I try to reach. However, My videos do not have language and usually if its music I post classical or none at all. I am hoping that FTC and YouTube can make a "General Age" tab and not just for kids or not . At least General Audience wold insure that you do not have viewers under 13. I also think that if you do not have an account or some type of "Adult" with a credit card you should make it where you can not see YouTube content . If you go to FB you can't see any content unless you log in . Another idea would be for you guys to have a YouTube App like YouTube kids for Adult audiences and an APP for teens and pre teens. I know it sounds like a lot but if you made different apps for each age section might keep younger kids off the adult platform and still make it able for Adult channels to have gamer channels and crafting and such . Just some ideas I was wanting to toss your way. So many are scared leaving YouTube and this platform is therapy for a lot of folks and by doing this and such harsh regulations it's making people afraid to post or come to YouTube. I believe in protecting our kids but at the same time punishing the adults and others who use YouTube is not fair either! Thanks.

What will happen to gaming channels? What will happen to Minecraft and other games? I want note information please.

I have some vintage collection barbie videos, made for 80´s women, the videos shows some zoom and general characteristics about the barbies, the barbies are old models from 80´s not in public sale for now-days kids, the purpose of the videos is show again these dolls to the women who had this particular dolls, in a nostalgic way, my concern is: Do I have to set this videos for children?, because, the dolls are no longer in the market, just by collectors in some adult sites like ebay or so, the barbies are not telling a story, just showing the doll, I have no children subscribers in fact I have only 74 and all are adults... so, Do I have to set these videos for kids?

Thank you for rethinking and changing the law, but the only thing that is bothering me is the animates characters part. Many people who do animation use animated character and these arent always for kids. Besides this these are Much more fair then before.

Am I understanding that the content creators will pay a fine, even though they are not the one's collecting the targeting infiormation about the viewer? How can this be when the content creators have no say in how that information is collected?

I think you should have like a ''Everyone'' option for this update because mostly my videos are rated for everyone

I think you should let the fine go to 1k so that people aren't that worried and stop the disconnection with viewers and creators.

Please reconsider

What about If The person has misused The system and he is outside The US well he Steel has to pay The penality of 42530 dollar or well The channel of The creator well be closed

Foreign-based websites and online services must comply with COPPA if they are directed to children in the United States, or if they knowingly collect personal information from children in the U.S.

The law’s definition of “operator” includes foreign-based websites and online services that are involved in commerce in the United States or its territories.

U.S.-based sites and services that collect information from foreign children also are subject to COPPA. See COPPA FAQS B.7. https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/complying-coppa-frequently-asked-questions

What do we do?

Wow.
This will be the end of joy for children around the world.
No video for Children, because it can't make some money for the creator.
My son will be sad too.

When children watch they learn from the video it combines Christian record funny and discovered activities that are not familiar

I am not a youtube creator. I am a parent of children 2 to 18 years of age. Myself and husband watch youtube all the time. We have a list of our favorites youtubers that we live to watch. My children have their favorite youtubers. My two year learned her ABC's by 18 months because of what I let her watch she signs and loves learning to babybum and other learning shows. My 16 year old loves watching youtubers game and play games he is into. Keeps him motivated to get into the gaming industry to be a game creator himself. I like watching do it yourself creators cooking videos and then I have my other favorite shows are watching paranormal investigators. There are some many different Bears doing so many different things I had so many different values to our lives and I would hate to see them not be able to create no more not be able to make videos anymore for us. There has to be a way or we can make this better for everybody so no one loses anything

Would I get fined if I posted that my video was not for kids but was really child friendly? If so, I would not be able to pay thousands of dollars for one uploading mistake. I have college to pay for, and all I want to do it make videos for fun!

In my opinion, treating content creators the same as website owners is the wrong approach. A website owner owns the domain as well as everything on the site. The only thing that a content creator 'owns' is the video, and YouTube's TOS already states that they may remove videos if found to be violating the law. In other words, YouTube is a service provided to both content creators and viewers, and the possibility of the FTC fining the creators for wanting to share their passion for Pokemon, Disney, or another 'kid-friendly' property with a general audience comprised of both kids and adults is very concerning to me for personal reasons.

As a graphic designer, I have portfolio pieces on YouTube that could be considered kid-friendly. I cannot afford to restrict who views them, as a potential employer might not be able to view these videos due to how YouTube is handling the content restrictions. I understand that the FTC is not directly involved in how YouTube enforces COPPA regulations, but if I cannot share my portfolio videos on a worldwide platform like YouTube, it will negatively impact my career. There are others like me who rely on YouTube and other online platforms to share our art with the world, and our art often cannot be boxed in to just 'kid-friendly' or 'adults-only'. I cannot afford to pay a large fine if my videos are found in violation of COPPA. Please review and expand on COPPA so that creators like myself will not be negatively impacted.

The Six-Step Compliance Plan for Your Business says you must comply with COPPA if:

Your website or online service is directed to children under 13 and you collect personal information from them.

OR

Your website or online service is directed to children under 13 and you let others collect personal information from them.

OR

Your website or online service is directed to a general audience, but you have actual knowledge that you collect personal information from children under 13.

OR

Your company runs an ad network or plug-in, for example, and you have actual knowledge that you collect personal information from users of a website or service directed to children under 13.

While the reason for COPPA restricting YouTube is valid, COPPA is very broad as it doesn't allow for much of anything. COPPA does not allow for bright colors which are seen in much of adult content. COPPA also does not allow for many subject matters that are discussed by many adults such as sports and pets. In general, COPPA is a good idea however COPPA enacting on YouTube will not only remove all content for kids, but it will also remove most adult content as well. Combined with YouTube's demonetization rules, YouTube will be left with little to no content being able to be created. Not to mention that COPPA has such a large fine for incompliance that YouTube will be destroyed and the people with jobs making videos on YouTube will have to leave and YouTube itself is in massive jeopardy of crashing itself

If a channel on youtube is making gaming videos on said channel but the games contain fictional violence, or if the games are explicitly rated 18+ due to gore, nudity or disturbing imagery, is it still deemed for children?

If the video is like a kid game but with Swearing in it and a and a swear in the title will I still be fined if i say not kid friendly

Please for the love of god tone down the fine it is legit $35,000 that is enough to end families businesses overnight make it 100 or 200 dollars
Y’know something actually PAYABLE and will not not end families for basically nothing

Instead of putting this pressure on YouTubers, thanks to YouTube's own mistake, wouldn't it make sense to just have an age gate on the site?
So you type YouTube into the search bar and before you use the site you have to verify your age, under 13''s getting redirected automatically to YouTube kid's. This would save a lot of channels and a lot of concern on the site. Especially for someone like me who now ha's inaccessible channels and videos meaning I cannot physically make the changes or remove the videos to comply. Please think about the lives you will ruin with these fines. I can guarantee it will be the biggest cause of homelessness in 2020 if you go through with this.

I understand the need to protect children from targeted marketing. Instead of lumping all the channels into two categories why not include a general audience section. There are many content creators that have a general audience. I would hate to see these channels disappear because of this law. I am in my forties and I watch dog channels (mostly Siberian Huskies), gaming channels, etc. What about the animal rescue channels? YouTube is a platform rescue centers use to bring awareness to homeless & discarded pets. Since these rescue centers are not government funded, they need all the revenue they can acquire to further help these animals.

Hello,

I have what I think is a good idea.

There are many people who have uploaded to youtube in the past, but who may not be able to access their old accounts for whatever reason like being unsuccessful at recovery if they forgot their associated log in information like user names, password, e-mail.

I think it would be a smart idea for the FTC to keep this in mind, when considering what action to take in the event that action is taken.

I would hope that in cases like this, the FTC could work together with a defendant to get the content in question removed, because the defendants alone are not able to.

At the very least, I believe this should be a factor when deciding what legal action to take.

What a child does, or does not watch, on the Internet is the responsibility of parents - not the government. Trying to legislatively protect children from content and data collection severely damages free speech while doing very little to protect children.

I have an idea to make the YouTube site better. The website or app can be completely unusable unless the user is logged into an account. If the user is under the age of 13, then it won't let the user in. There could also be an option to login to the YouTube Kids site for users under the age of 13 and an option to login if the user is 13+. This is just an idea I had. If Google acknowledges this idea instead of marking content and channels for kids, then YouTube will hopefully be a better place.

Umm. I’m a GachaTuber and I don’t know if my content is made for kids. Some videos have cursing and some have fire and death. Plz help me understand what is my channel. I am very confused bc I made videos to release stress. I didn’t make if for kids to be honest...

your new law(COPPA LAW) is losing a lot of channel

Right. I get that there are some people out there who will lie about their age just to watch a simple video that may or may not be directed at them. But what about the animators? I myself am part of the animation meme community, so what about us? Do we break the rules because of bright colours and characters that might appeal to the people who shouldn't even be on a 13+ site? Theres a reason why YouTube kids exists, and it's for this reason. Do you just go look at thumbnails of videos and say: "Oh, well this breaks our rules. Lawsuit!" without even knowing if it has child unfriendly material within it? You would just be taking everyones liberties with this act, and everyone's creativity. If you want to stop children under 13 from watching YouTube, don't allow them to lie. Maybe make a centralized system of account making where you have to show proof of some sort that they are their said age. Like a portion of their birth certificate or something of the like, because taking out content that people have worked on for what could span for months because of the simple fact that a careless parent let their underaged child on the internet doesn't seem right. I don't know if the team behind this will even try to acknowledge this comment but at least I tried. Have a nice day.

We definitely want our children to be safe on line. It should be our number one priority but shutting down the art and craft channels is not the way to go. YouTube already has a channel for children alone. Please specify the rules better and dont take away our favorite channels and most of all our favorite Youtubers that worked hard to make their channels what they are today. We love leaving comments and being able to get responses ,from them. That's one of the reasons we subscribe to the channels we watch. Please make the COPPA rules more clear. And dont penalize those poor people some of them or most of them making a living from their channels because you couldn't make the rules better. Please re consider and dont take our drawing and crafting channels our haul channels and DIY channels off. I am a loyal fan and subscribe to a lot of channels here on YouTube. Please re consider because if you dont then I guess well just have to do something drastic like boycotting YouTube and we dont want things to get nasty and ugly. We love our Youtubers. Please Help all of them by being fair. Thank you. G.R Worcester Mass

I'm planning to make animated videos intended definitely not for kids ... Do I have to worry about being covered. .. also will viewer discretion work ?

I was 1,000 hits away from monetizing the videos on my small channel if I had wanted. However, I have deleted them all because the ridiculously vague "COPPA rules" were not worth my time and worry. I DO understand the need for the COPPA laws but I have concerns/questions: 1) Instead of child-directed or not, why can't the movie rating system be used (i.e. PG, to X-rated) to classify the videos that content creators post to YouTube? 2) How does YouTube get away with dumping the responsibility of inappropriate advertising onto the content creators when it is YouTube's programming that needs adjustment. 3) Why are content creators being fined and held responsible for videos that unattended children may see (do porn movie producers get fined if a child sees one of their nasty flicks)? I hope this situation can be worked out as soon as possible. I am subscribed to dozens of fantastic inspiring content creators that may lose their livelihood if they are fined, can no longer monetize their channels, or give up out of frustration as I did.

I have a number of questions.

1. When did the federal government get in the business of evaluating whether works of art, in this case, videos, are targeted at one audience or another? And in making such a determination -- presumably without giving the content creator due process to make a case to the contrary -- are you not in danger of violating that content creator's First Amendment free speech rights?

2. YouTube has elected to address this settlement by giving content creators/channel owners a binary choice for self-designating the content of their videos as "made for kids" or "not made for kids." Yet the COPPA law clearly makes an exception for "mixed audience" videos, or videos that may have appeal to children, but are made for a broader audience. What is the best practice for such content creators? Should they self-designate such videos as "made for kids," thereby forfeiting all the benefits (including upwards of 90 percent of the monetization potential) of being a content creator? Or should they designate their "mixed audience" videos as "not for kids," thereby interpreting the language of YouTube's question as "not EXCLUSIVELY for kids."

3. Has the FTC considered the law of unintended consequences here? I mean, all the content creators I know, and the ones who have posted videos about the new COPPA enforcement in the wake of the YouTube settlement have made it pretty clear that they're most likely just going to stop making content. In many cases, these are content creators who fell under that "mixed audience" definition and were not specifically gearing their content toward kids exclusively. Rather, they were creating high-quality, family-friendly content that kids enjoyed, but was equally enjoyed by parents and teenagers and others. Has the FTC considered that by scaring off a lot of these content creators, what they're going to leave in their wake is a vast wasteland of child-inappropriate content on YouTube. And while YouTube has done NOTHING to prevent under 13 age kids from watching YouTube content, they've simply driven off many creators who were making child-appropriate content. This action seems incredibly short-sighted, foolish and not at all well-thought-out.

4. If a content creator/channel operator self-designates his/her content as "not for kids" on the assumption that it falls under the "mixed audience exception" and the FTC deems the content to be "child directed," on what authority does the FTC make such a judgement? I would like to see the law that states the FTC has been granted the authority to deem third-party content to be directed at one audience over another. Where, exactly, is that articulated in the FTC charter?

5. If the FTC does step in and make a determination that a content creator has self-designated his content as "not for kids" on the belief that his content is, in fact, a "mixed audience exception," but the FTC disagrees, how will that play out? Will the content creator hear from the FTC via email? Will he receive due process? Or will YouTube just shut him down, again, without due process? Quite frankly, given that the worst possible outcome for the child viewer is that he or she might see a directed commercial, which happens about 12 times per minute on network and local television, this seems incredibly heavy-handed for what amounts to a minor violation. Wouldn't the nation's children be better served by having their PARENTS do the parenting in this country rather than having a federal government agency try to act as the nation's nanny parent?

I would like a little more clarification on what is "child content." Many video games are not kid-friendly or kid geared. Perhaps mandating a category of "general audiences" would be a great way to set people at ease. Please consider this. Thank you.

Video/Computer Games, in regards to content creators, should be completely excluded from COPPA. The ESRB already handles the rating of video games by taking the time to actually play them to determine who the game is for.
The ESRB also uses an open ended rating system for the friendlier games, such as the ratings E (Everyone) and E10+ (Everyone aged 10 and older) because the ESRB understands that even adults can enjoy child friendly video games.
Content creators don't play the video games they do in order to prey on children, they do it because they themselves love to play those video games and want to share their experience with others.

As an extra note, the FTC itself has already praised the ESRB for the work they do calling them the "strongest self-regulatory organization in the entertainment sector."

Would Gacha Life be counted as children's content? If you could reply that would be nice!

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