The educators manually review thousands of mobile apps available in the Google Play & Apple App Stores as well as connected TV (CTV) apps from the Roku Channel Store and Amazon Fire TV App Store using the COPPA Rule factors shown below & make those results available to the public atratings.pixalate.com.
This post takes a look at a CTV app from the Amazon Fire TV App store and the Roku Channel Store. Our reviewer discusses how the subjective factors set forth in the COPPA Rule apply to the app and factor into the reviewer's determination as to whether the app is child-directed or general audience (i.e., it is not targeting children).
Amanda’s take: GamingWithKev - Let’s Play is a collection of gameplay videos from a popular YouTuber @gamingwithkev who has over 8 million subscribers. Kevin’s high energy gaming videos are mostly of him playing Roblox, a game known to interest all ages, including appealing to children. This channel app seems to have a mixed audience.
COPPA factors used to determine audience
The GamingWithKev - Let’s Play app is a collection of over 100 gameplay videos featuring a host, Kevin, showing his face in a small section of the screen and sharing commentary while playing video/computer games. Most of the games in this collection feature Kevin playing Roblox: a popular platform where kids, teens, and adults create, share, and play games. Kevin’s Roblox avatar on the screen during gameplay, like other Roblox characters, resembles a Lego-like character moving about a world built from blocks. This visual content appeals to children.
On the Roku App Store landing page for this app, the app description says that “GamingWithKev combines his family man persona with his serious gaming skills across the metaverse with games like Roblox and more! Kev brings a diverse take to his engaging and adoring fanbase.” This description supports the idea that the target audience for this content is a mix of children and adults.
Three of the thumbnails for videos contained images that could appeal to a younger audience: the “2 Player Roblox HIGH HEELS Challenge” thumbnail showed images of Barbies and a small toy puppy, the “ROBLOX PENGUIN TYCOON” video showed animated penguins that looked to be from the computer-animated movie Madagascar, and finally the “ROBLOX DISNEYLAND” thumbnail includes Elsa from Frozen, Mickey Mouse, and a vomiting emoji on a rollercoaster.
Screenshots of GamingWithKev - Let’s Play:
About Pixalate’s Trust & Safety Advisory Board
Pixalate’s Trust and Safety Advisory Board was created to bring in individuals with experience using child-directed apps in the classroom to review and assess which apps are child-directed. This manual review process serves to quality check Pixalate’s automated review process. See our full methodology for more information.
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Per the MRC,
“'Fraud' is not intended to represent fraud as defined in various laws, statutes and ordinances or as conventionally used in U.S. Court or other
legal proceedings, but rather a custom definition strictly for advertising measurement purposes. Also per the MRC,
“‘Invalid Traffic’ is defined generally as traffic
that does not meet certain ad serving quality or completeness criteria, or otherwise does not represent legitimate ad traffic that should be included in measurement counts.
Among the reasons why ad traffic may be deemed invalid is it is a result of non-human traffic (spiders, bots, etc.), or activity designed to produce fraudulent traffic.”