Who Is the "You" in YouTube?: Missed Opportunities in Race and Representation in Children's YouTube Videos

Online video viewing has exploded in the last four years among kids of all ages. In fact, teens report that YouTube is the one platform they simply can't live without. At the same time, we know the entertainment industry has fallen short on telling authentic stories that represent the world we live in.

The popularity of YouTube creates a unique opportunity for user-generated content to tell different, diverse, representative stories. But unfortunately, YouTube is missing that opportunity. This report, conducted in partnership with the University of Michigan, looks at a large sample of videos watched by kids ages 0–8 and 9–18. The analysis reveals that kids are watching content that doesn't reflect the diversity of the United States, as well as content that presents biased and stereotypical representations of race and ethnicity.

YouTube can be a source of empowering and inspiring real-life stories and representations of BIPOC communities, but while families can do a lot to seek out the right stories, YouTube could also make them easier to find by elevating BIPOC creators and making YouTube a destination for representation in media. In the meantime, it's critical to help parents, caregivers, and educators find the very best content on YouTube that elevates diverse voices.