Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo) introduced a new piece of legislation to stop video platforms like YouTube from recommending videos featuring children.
According to a press release, Hawley says the bill would stop YouTube from “catering to pedophiles.”
“Parents want to be able to post videos of their kids without having creepy stalkers then try to contact or follow around their children,” said Hawley.
The bill is called the Protecting Children from Online Predators Act.
It would require video platforms to change the algorithm for “recommended videos,” features and exclude videos feature children.
The act would exclude professionally produced videos of children like from America’s Got Talent.
The YouTube Team said in a Google blog post:
“The vast majority of videos featuring minors on YouTube, including those referenced in recent news reports, do not violate our policies and are innocently posted — a family creator providing educational tips, or a parent sharing a proud moment. But when it comes to kids, we take an extra cautious approach towards our enforcement and we’re always making improvements to our protections.”
– The YouTube Team
According to YouTube, over the past several months, the company has made strides to help protect children:
- Restricting live features
- Disabling comments on videos featuring minors
- Reducing video recommendations
KOLR10 also spoke to the Springfield Police Department’s Child Victims Unit. Sgt. Steve Schwind says if anyone has a suspicion that any video or image of a child on the web is pornographic, they should contact police.
“There is a gray area and it can be opened up for interpretation,” he said.
Hawley’s bill would include other video sharing platforms that have video recommendation features, not just YouTube.