Camila Souza Araujo, Pedro Hartung, Gabriel Magno, Virgílio Almeida, Danilo Doneda e Wagner Meira Jr.
Online video services, messaging systems, games and social media services are tremendously popular among young people and children in many countries. Most of the digital services offered on the internet are advertising funded, which makes advertising ubiquitous in children’s everyday life. To understand the impact of advertising-based digital services on children, we study the collective behavior of users of YouTube for kids channels and present the demographics of a large number of users. We collected data from 12,848 videos from 17 channels in US and UK and 24 channels in Brazil. The channels in English have been viewed more than 37 billion times. We also collected more than 14 million comments made by users. Based on a combination of text-analysis and face recognition tools, we show the presence of racial and gender biases in our large sample of users. We also identify children actively using YouTube, although the minimum age for using the service is 13 years in most countries. We provide comparisons of user behavior among the three countries, which represent large user populations in the global North and the global South.