YouTube Children: How Your Kids Are Used For Revenue

  • YouTube Children

YouTube Children
YouTube Children: An Image Styled After A YouTube Thumbnail

My tone and content on this site has been a bit jovial recently, but today I’d like to go over a more serious topic: how your kids are being used for revenue by YouTubers (thus turning them unto “YouTube children” as I like to call them).

Outside of the Internet, children are often used for money in order for a company that targets this age group to generate a profit. Most people know this and usually aren’t phased by it so long as the product or service doesn’t cause any direct (or noticeable) harm to the child’s mental or physical well-being.

However, what if I were to tell you that on the Internet, or more specifically on YouTube, there are video creators who purposefully pump out long useless videos knowing children can’t help but watch them for hours on end?

YouTube Children: An Explanation For How Your Kids Are Used For Revenue

To understand how your children are being used for revenue, you also need to understand how the YouTube monetisation system works. You see, the old YouTube payment system worked based on the number of views your video had in addition to the niche your video was in. The advertisements that were displayed in and around the video paid using a cost per mille (CPM) system, or in other words, views. This system appealed to creative people (artists), which is why there were so many animators on YouTube during that time.

However, these days, YouTubers are now paid based on user retention (how long users are viewing the video); in other words, the longer your children watch an adult play video games while s̶c̶r̶e̶a̶m̶i̶n̶g̶, I mean serenading them into watching the video even longer, the more the YouTuber will be paid. This has turned YouTube into an environment where YouTubers churn out long videos for children (Minecraft videos being one of the most popular right now) with the hopes of keeping their attention for as long as possible.

Young Children and Minecraft Videos

Some news outlets have indirectly or directly reported the increasing prevalence of YouTube children mindlessly watching videos of adults talking into a microphone while playing Minecraft. These YouTube children often already have a tablet addiction in addition to watching these videos. A few news outlets and parents have made endeavours to defend their children’s favourite YouTubers by saying that these Minecraft videos are “educational” and show the children how to build things on Minecraft, but this is simply untrue for the majority of the videos. As Minecraft is a sandbox game (meaning you use your imagination to build whatever you want), watching Minecraft videos for 6 hours a day to learn how to build and castle and saying you built it yourself is tantamount to and about as productive as printing The Mona Lisa and saying you drew it. Just like how printing The Mona Lisa won’t help you become a better artist, copying the creations of YouTubers won’t make you develop an imagination.

Preteens, Teens, and Call of Duty Videos

While you may still view the Minecraft videos as innocuous, I’d argue that the Call of Duty videos are even worse. For example, a YouTuber named “Swiftor” started a new currency called “Swiftbucks” in order to allow his young audience to gamble away their fictional money or spend it on “prizes”, the latter of which I’ll get to in a moment. This wouldn’t be so bad if he didn’t charge a $4.99 monthly subscription to earn Swiftbucks and it didn’t take

Now, about the prizes. Switor has decided that you can use them for on-screen shout outs (e.g., he’ll basically say thanks for the money in his videos), and a chance to play a game with him. Hilariously enough, another YouTuber pointed out the ridiculousness of this and how he’s taking advantage of his audience.

Swiftor Scam
While his argument was a bit vulgar, he does make a point.

YouTube Children: Conclusion

YouTube in the old days was a fun place that you could visit to find funny home-made videos, but now it’s just a haven for crooks looking to take advantage of children.

Alistair Kavalt