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To: Susan Wojcicki, CEO of Youtube
Youtube: Stop addicting our kids!
YouTube is intentionally addicting children to their platform using manipulative design! They've engineered two features -- autoplay and recommendations -- to serve children an endless stream of videos that often include inappropriate and even harmful content. YouTube's greed is hurting kids as young as toddlers. They must end autoplay and algorithm-driven recommendations on kids content immediately!
Why is this important?
Autoplay and algorithm-driven recommendations on kids’ content are each dangerous on their own, and in combination they are even worse. Kids are being endangered by YouTube’s addictive content rabbit holes and recommendations that can quickly funnel children into inappropriate content.
Autoplay should not be the norm for kids’ content, let alone the default setting for any account, as it currently is. In fact, YouTube even defaults to autoplay for content aimed at toddlers and preschoolers and can't be turned off on YoutTube Kids. Too much screen time has been linked to behavioral problems, sleep disorders, decreased mental health, and poorer educational outcomes in kids.
Parental controls on YouTube are not sufficient, and they are difficult to figure out. Despite being concerned about screen time, most parents—60% according to a recent Pew study—don’t use parental controls to change default settings.
YouTube has a responsibility to keep people safe—especially young people. Please set autoplay to be off by default for all kids content on YouTube and YouTube Kids and end algorithm-based recommendations for kids’ content entirely.