Tiny Tarantino

An accountable video platform for kids

It's not uncommon for parents to let their children watch videos when they have to get something done. Digital videoplatforms like YouTube and Vimeo offer lots of high-quality videos that are suitable for kids. The problem is that these videos are not the ones that are favored by the recommendation algorithms at work.

Where the traditional television shows are losing more and more viewers, digital videoplatforms are growing all over the world and on every screen. Kids can tap their way across a digital ecosystem populated by countless videos. There are many high-quality videos to be found. Unfortunately, they usually don't surface.

What we see is that many of the most popular videos targeted at kids have an amateur feel to them. Kids go nuts over Finger Family videos and toy demonstrations like the Surprise Egg videos. Millions and millions of these nonsensical videos receive billions and billions of views, but it's unlikely that children are learning from them.

This is an example of a "Surprise Egg" video. At the time of writing, it had nearly 140 million views and counting. It features someone opening up eggs and showing the toys inside to the viewer — for 60 long minutes.

What really seems to be driving this disturbing evolution most fully on YouTube, is the monetization of attention — without any other variables at work. The same mechanisms that Facebook and Instagram uses to get you to keep checking that app, are now used to hack the brains of very small children in return for advertising revenue.

The available content is not curated, but rather filtered by algorithms. As a result, we see that the creators of YouTube Kids videos spend countless hours trying to game the algorithm so that their videos are viewed as many times as possible — more views translate into more advertising dollars for them. And on the other side of the screen, there still are these little kids watching this stuff, stuck, their full attention grabbed by these weird mechanisms.

At Tiny Tarantino, we do things differently. We believe that the decision on what videos are appropriate for our kids shouldn't be left up to unaccountable systems. We are offering an alternative where every available video is hand-picked by either you or us. An aggregation platform where the best videos from around the web are gathered. A web application that will enable parents to create qualitative video playlists for their kids to watch.