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kleinbl00  ·  472 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Something is Wrong on the Internet

    I'm not a parent, myself. I have no children, and have barely had experience with others'. But I think a lot about it, because at some point, I want to have a family of my own.

There's a lot of "other people are the problem" in this article that I really didn't care for. Couched in the "I don't have kids, but" is a seething judgement of a straw man that exists somewhere and allows the author to clutch his pearls about the poor choices made by others that exist in the argument largely to be disdained.

I am a parent. I'm surrounded by parents. I've got nine goddamn birthday gifts to buy between now and January and I've seen dozens or hundreds of children I know interact with technology. Not just in a "I saw a kid in a stroller watching videos" kind of way, but in a "I was one of those horrible people drinking wine and talking politics while my friends' kid sat there watching The Human Centipede in his crib" kind of way.

I've never met a single person who lets their young kids watch Youtube. I've never met a single kid that would give a fuck about Youtube.

Check out the Netflix kids interface. Check out the PBS kids interface. Check out the Amazon kids interface. They give you curated collections of videos and clips arranged around the faces of branded content your kid recognizes. They can figure it out by 3. More than that, kids aren't the slightest bit interested in fresh content. They'll watch the same Super Why episode nine times in a row. When you're talking about fresh young minds seeking out things to watch, they've got a really limited search ability and an impressively unlimited ability to navigate an interface to find exactly what they want.

The content under discussion here is basically SEO blogspam in video form. It largely exists to find people who browse for it accidentally, and to find automatic playlists created by algorithm. If a kid happens to find it they'll look at it for a few seconds and skip it (or ask for someone to skip it). Most importantly if it doesn't have the voices they're expecting, they lose interest immediately - not discussed in the article is the fact that children's videos are inanely talkative and that the kids want the voices and songs.

That's really the worst part of all this - it's a failed experiment. These videos aren't even targeting kids, they're targeting algorithms that may at some point target kids but don't right now because real kids are busy watching the same Daniel Tiger clip over and over again.

And Daniel Tiger don't carry a scythe.