One of the bigger problems that YouTube has been dealing with recently is an influx of shocking, misleading, nonsensical, or otherwise inappropriate content into the YouTube Kids app, but an anonymous insider allegedly told BuzzFeed that the company will be solving the issue in short order by releasing a version of the app that does not use an algorithm, and has humans personally approve all channels that wish to upload. This new version will reportedly exist not as a standalone app, but as an option within the main YouTube Kids app. There was no word on a release date, and YouTube officials would not corroborate the rumor or deny it. The anonymous source said that the new version may be released as soon as the next few weeks.
A non-algorithmic version of YouTube Kids would put a severe limit on the amount of content available and how fast new content could reach the service, but it would also solve many of the current issues with the platform. It was found out not too long ago that YouTube Kids not only hosted videos about controversial conspiracy theories, as one example, but was actively suggesting them to users. The app has also been found to host entirely inappropriate content in the past, along with content that was inappropriate for its own reasons, but psychologically crafted to catch children's attention with intriguing concepts and beloved characters in order to net ad dollars, a scandal known as Elsagate.
The issues with YouTube Kids are an extension of the issues facing YouTube at large, for the most part. The platform was, for instance, recently called out for letting a video slip into trending that accused a mass shooting survivor of being a paid crisis actor. The video was able to get through due to its use of news footage from a reputable source. YouTube's algorithms are still far from perfect, and even with some humans on hand to help curate, the platform is having a hard time fighting the onslaught of fake news, inappropriate content, and other unsavory things that will naturally happen with a platform that's as big as YouTube and relies on user-generated content.