Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube need to do more to keep adult content away from children
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Video streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube are immensely popular among children for their wide collection of movies and TV shows for kids. These are often put aside in a different category, separate profiles are set up or parental locks are put so that children access what they are meant to when they open the app.
Netflix has a Kids profile option, which shows content appropriate for their age group and keeps adult-rated content out of their way by isolating them in a separate profile. However, it doesn’t provide the option to lock a profile with a password, and chances are kids can still wander off to other profiles. This is where Netflix’s new PIN protection feature for specific movies and series can help. It provides more control to parents over what their children can watch or not watch on Netflix by letting them restrict access to any content that is not appropriate for children with a 4-digit PIN. This works only when parents are also active on Netflix and are aware of what needs to be blocked.
To make it easier for them, Netflix has also decided to display the maturity level rating for a series or film more prominently. This will ensure the parents are fully aware of what a movie might show before they start watching. These features will be available to Netflix’s app and web users in a few months time.
For users on Amazon’s Prime Video, there is section called Parental Controls inside Settings. It provides parents with more granular control over the content on Prime Video by allowing them to block access to all content above a certain age with a 5-digit pin. So for parents with a 10-year-old at home, the app will only allow them to play content appropriate for that age group, while for the rest of the content, users will have to type the PIN. This can be a bit annoying for parents as even they will have to enter the PIN every time they want to watch something.
YouTube has a separate app called YouTube Kids with content only for children.
Google’s YouTube can be a parent’s nightmare if not regulated properly. Parents have two choices. They can install the YouTube Kids app and lock the primary YouTube app under password, so children have no option but to use the former. However, YouTube Kids has limited content and many of the educational or useful videos on the primary app are not available on it. This is where the parents can let children use the primary app but with restricted access. For this, users will have to enable the Restricted mode in Settings->General. This will hide all videos with inappropriate content flagged by users and other signals to identify them. But access to Restricted mode is not locked and can be changed by anyone, including the child.