An Analysis of Children's Content on YouTube in the Context of Sharenting: Case Study From Turkey

An Analysis of Children's Content on YouTube in the Context of Sharenting: Case Study From Turkey

Pelin Kilinç Özüölmez, Senem Duruel Erkiliç
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-9187-1.ch014
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Parental responsibility will be evaluated from the children's perspective, and the pre-birth rights of the child will be discussed in a juridical and social context. Within this scope, 375 videos, viewed between March 17, 2019 and December 23, 2020, will be studied in-depth using the content analysis method. As the aforementioned YouTube channel mainly targets younger child groups and the E.K.M. is also 6, it is of great importance to discuss the suitability of the experienced digital games' educative and instructive features for children, as well as if they consist of elements of violence and horror. Parental responsibility will be evaluated together with a selection of digital games and game displays. Having numerous followers in Turkey, the ‘Sesegel Çocuk' channel will be probed extensively since the channel has a potential to act as a role model for its target audience. Digital parenting and the sharenting phenomenon will be extensively analyzed with regard to privacy, personal data confidentiality and security, protection of emotional and private data, and protection of personal rights.
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The digital transformation that has taken place in many fields has also affected the conventional media and the concept of digital media has opened new discussions on the field. The almost one-way, resource-based communication model has been replaced by digital media over time and new broadcast contents have emerged as user access has become more possible. In the Web 2.0 system, the most controversial platform regarding digital media is social media. With the evolution of the Internet through social communication, it has been possible to communicate independently of time and space with one click, and accordingly, various structures of interaction supported by visual and auditory elements have emerged. The communication with structures like blogs (web diaries), vlogs (video diaries), photologs (photo diaries), sketchlogs (drawing/pattern diaries), mp3logs (audio diaries) (Turgut, 2009: 94) etc. has become more interactive, information has gained speed with instant news flows and mass interaction has become possible. Although video diaries stand out among these contents that can be accessed by users from almost every age group today, video streams are also carried out on certain topics in a similar form. For these diaries, although it is not a basic usage to shoot and publish videos on a daily basis, the frequent publishing of video content gains importance. Especially on YouTube, which is one of the environments where every prosumer with the necessary equipment can perform video-based personal broadcast and stands out as the most common video platform in recent years, the number of such broadcasts is increasing day by day. Among these examples, new video contents about games followed by children is added almost every day, and users who are called YouTubers and who regularly broadcast videos about popular topics, now benefit from the opportunities of this platform as a new business field.

With the acquisition of YouTube by Google in 2006, advertisements directed for the interests of users are determined through the Google AdSense application. Various advertising contents are offered to the audience using the personal data of users and the number of subscribers. The AdSense application provides the publishers with the opportunity to earn economic profit from the content they offer. Furthermore, this application runs the ads by matching them to the sites according to the content and visitors and provides a way for publishers to earn money through online content (How AdSense Works, 2020). While Google Ads is offered to advertisers, Google AdSense is created for publishers. With these applications, the advertisements appear on the digital property of the publishers and the publishers can earn income according to the number of users who interact with or view these advertisements. (Difference between AdSense and Google Ads, 2020). Therefore, for prosumers who see YouTuber as a profession, the number of views, likes and subscriptions of the content they produce comes to the fore, and more importantly, the number of subscribers gains importance in order to receive external advertising and sponsorship support. All these figures turn into numerical data as the main source of income.

New media is seen and used as a new source of income for some content producers. In this context, the commercial aspects of content production also create some controversial areas. For example, the fact that children frequently appear in such publications in order to ensure that the content is consumed by more users brings forth some ethical concerns. Publications produced on such platforms with the opportunities provided by digital technologies are equipped with relaxing content and ideal life examples that can affect education, health, awareness raising, informing/notifying, employment or life satisfaction. According to Odabaşı (2019: 2), even though ideal life “is a constantly debated concept, it points to the points where digital technologies can make our lives useful, meaningful and powerful.”

Key Terms in this Chapter

New Media: New technologies such as the internet, and digital television and radio.

Social media: Refers to websites and computer programs that make communication possible with the use of computers or mobile phones.

YouTube: A website on which subscribers can post video files

Child: A child is a human being who is not yet an adult.

Sharenting: The habitual use of social media to share news, images, etc. of one’s children.

Parent: A mother or father.

Media: Refer to television, radio, newspapers, and magazines as the media.

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