Age requirement, restrictions and rules on age for YouTube and for a dedicated YouTube channel
From how many years may one register with YouTube? At what age are you allowed to operate a YouTube channel? How old do you have to be to start a live-stream as a streamer on YouTube? Many of these questions are often asked, especially by parents whose children would like to open their own YouTube channel. And there are very different answers. I will try to answer these questions thoroughly and accurately.
FAQ: Age restrictions and rules on age on YouTube and for a dedicated YouTube channel
YouTube – How old do you have to be to have your own YouTube account?
The Terms of Service (TOS) of YouTube are here bound by the laws of each country. In general, YouTube allows an account from the age of 13 as this is the minimum in the U.S., the country Google and YouTube are operating most of their services unless national laws of the user’s home country require stricter restrictions.
In Germany, for example, one may only create an account on YouTube from the age of 16. The regulations in Austria allow registration from 14 years and since Switzerland does not seem to have any extra tightening laws, the basic limit of 13 years is valid here.
Some additional information and a detailed list of age restrictions for a YouTube account in other countries worldwide can be found in the Google Account Age Restrictions Help.
Own YouTube channel – From what age is it allowed to run an own channel or Livestream?
Here, the above rules apply first, too, i.e. from 16 in Germany, 14 in Austria, and 13 in many other countries, such as the USA or Switzerland. A YouTube channel may then also be operated legally from this age.
However, in a YouTube blog post in 2019, it was already specified that children under the age of 18 who operate a Livestream may only do so in the presence of an adult. If this is violated, there is a chance that the channel in question will lose its live-streaming privileges, comments may be deactivated, etc. In case of severe violations, it is also possible that the entire channel will be deactivated or deleted.
Earn money on YouTube – From which age possible?
In order to earn money on YouTube, you need an account on Google Adsense, your own bank account, and, above a certain amount of income, your own business, and you have to pay taxes on it.
To have your own Google Adsense account, you need to be at least 18 years old. Young people under the age of 18 may set up an Adsense account with their parents, and all payments will be made to the signing adult. For more information, see the Google Adsense account terms and conditions
Are there other age restriction rules for Google and YouTube?
The YouTube rules state that young people aged 16 and over (some countries from 13 years of age) may create their own account. However, it also states that teens under 18 need the permission of their parents to do so.
Some more detailed information can be found in the YouTube Terms of Service (TOS).
What is Google Family Link?
These rules are further enhanced by the Google Family Link rules. Family Link is an app that allows parents to create a restricted and controlled account for their children, giving you control over what content, platforms, and services your children can use and how far they can access them.
In Google Family Link, you can also restrict usage and block adult content. You can look up the location of your kids’ Android devices and also control the apps and their rights on your kids’ devices.
What is YouTube Kids and where do you get it?
For children under 13, there is an extra app called YouTube Kids. Here the content is examined much more closely for content harmful to young people and the regulation of advertising and account data evaluation is also much stricter. There are also no comments in which your children could contact potentially dangerous adults.
The YouTube Kids app can be downloaded for iOS and Android and more detailed information and the download can be found on the YouTube Kids page.
What is COPPA and how are children’s rights respected on YouTube?
YouTube, kids, and COPPA
With Google Family Link, parents have the ability and right to set their own rules. And that includes setting your own YouTube restrictions or permissions. And it applies to children under 16 and minors below the age of 13. The latter again have special restrictions, as they are protected and regulated by the Children Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
COPPA requires Google, and therefore YouTube, to restrict or disable certain features for children under the age of 13 and to label content for children. For example, comments under Children’s Content will be turned off or advertisements will no longer be personalized, and suggestions and subscriber options will be limited. One of the main reasons for this is to ensure that no data is collected from children, which is prohibited in many countries and in the USA by these very COPPA regulations. In addition, there is also a desire to restrict access to children, which should prevent extremely critical contact between children and pedophiles.
Much more information about COPPA and these restrictions, which have been in place since January 2020, can be found in this article on the 2020 changes by COPPA. Much more detailed information about this topic can be found in the Google Family Link Google Help pages.
Parental rights and Google Accounts – Can I determine that myself?
Parents are of course free to log in to their own account on a device and then allow their children to access it. However, you are then solely responsible for this. Because in such a constellation there are no protective functions for minors that safeguard your child from adult content and advertising that targets adults.
And you should also think twice and consider using the Parental Controls filters in Family Link or YouTube Kids to protect your child from bullying, privacy violations, access to children through sick, greedy, hateful, or otherwise critical contacts.
And then there’s probably a limit to that at one point. If you give your children completely uncontrolled access to Google services, YouTube, and other social media accounts, such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, WhatsApp, etc., and the child gets disruptions or problems as a result, this will certainly be an issue to be discussed with the youth welfare office at some point. Therefore, responsible decisions are absolutely necessary here, for the welfare of the child and not only for “I want to have my silence, go away, watch YouTube”.
Links and Sources:
YouTube Terms of Service