NEW: We now offer a money-back guarantee!


YouTube COPPA Changes as of January 2020 – Explained

This blog article is meant to explain and summarize some important aspects of how Youtube will be changing as a result of their lawsuit with the FTC

Thumbnail from YouTube Creators Channel

This blog article is meant to explain and summarize some important aspects of how Youtube will be changing as a result of their lawsuit with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). The FTC charged YouTube with not being in compliance with COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act). This lawsuit has resulted in many feature changes within YouTube Channel accounts.

Therefore, this information is important for all content creators to understand and to comply with. It is important that Sprizzy share this information, as these changes affect everyone who is a content creator and channel account holder. Read on to learn more.

Why YouTube changes? 

In 2019 there was a YouTube vs. the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) court case. In this case, YouTube was charged with collecting personal information from child viewers. This collecting of information was done without notifying parents, nor getting their consent. This is a violation of COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act). COPPA was originally passed by Congress in 1998. The goal of COPPA is to protect the privacy of children under 13. During the lawsuit, it became clear to the FTC that YouTube was violating this Act.

YouTube COPPA changes by FTC
From the FTC Blog – Visit the FTC Blog

As part of the court case settlement, YouTube had to pay a fine of $170 million and make YouTube channel/video changes to better comply with COPPA. The following sections will explain who needs to make changes, and how they need to make changes.

A COPPA Recap by the FTC
From the FTC blog – visit the FTC Blog and read the full article

Who needs to comply with YouTube’s COPPA Policy changes?

 The YouTube Creators youtube channel has made a few videos on this, but in general, it is any channel or single video that is directed at children 12 and under. Every channel is required to mark whether their content is made for children or not. Here is a quote from YouTube creator policies that defines whether or not content is made for kids:

According to the FTC’s guidance on the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), a video is made for kids if:

Children are the primary audience.

Children are not the primary audience, but the video is still directed to children based on factors such as the subject matter of the video, whether the video has an emphasis on kids characters, themes, toys or games, and more.”

Learn more here

In the last few months, YouTube has started to ask at the upload of a video or on the channel, to mark content made for children or not. Youtube has mentioned that they will be able to find and flag content that is not complying with their requests. Therefore, it is important to mark this on your channel in order to be in compliance with YouTube’s requests and avoid penalties.

COPPA Penalties for violating COPPA as a YouTube Creator
From FTC Blog – Read more here

What are the YouTube COPPA changes? 

In order to comply with COPPA, Youtube will make changes to certain channels and videos with content directed to children. In other words, these changes will affect specific features by turning them off:

At the video level, these features include [turned off]:

Autoplay on home

Cards or end screens

Channel branding watermark

Channel Memberships 


Donate button 

Likes and dislikes on YouTube Music

Live chat or live chat donations

Merchandise and ticketing

Notification bell

Personalized advertising

Playback in the Miniplayer

Super Chat or Super Stickers

Save to playlist and Save to watch later

At the channel level, these features include: 

Channel Memberships 

Notification bell



(From the YouTube Support page)
How COPPA Applies to Channel Owners
From FTC Blog article – Read more here

YouTube Creator Videos addressing FAQ’s related to COPPA and Children’s Content

Here are some links to learn more about what COPPA means and how it affects what type of content creators make.


Changes to Child-directed content as of January 6th, 2020

Highlights of the COPPA changes:

Here are some basic take-a-ways from this article and the over YouTube changes:

  • Channels must mark whether their content is directed at children or not
  • No personalized ads on children’s videos, ads will now be based on the content of the video, not user data
  • Reduce monetization features on channels with children’s content
  • Comments, live chat, notification bell, and playlists turned off

The goal is to better protect children’s privacy and comply with the FTC. YouTube encourages the use of YouTube Kids app (though they mention they can’t control how families choose to use or view the YouTube apps).

 Learn more directly from the FTC Blog article about YouTube and COPPA

Team YouTube Help Channel

YouTube Creators Channel

Question of the day! Leave a comment!

Has your channel been affected by COPPA? How do you feel about the policy changes and how do you think it will affect your channel overall?


If you are interested in learning more about how you can get more views and grow your YouTube Channel, please click here to learn how Sprizzy can help!

Join the 1.5 million YouTubers that took their channels to the next level with Sprizzy

Sign up with Google account