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Seattle Journal of Technology, Environmental & Innovation Law

Abstract

For America’s children, the amount of screen time they consume has not changed much over the years. Children under eight have steadily spent about two hours a day in front of a screen, with those under age two averaging 42 minutes a day. Children from low-income families spend roughly an hour and forty minutes longer in front of a screen. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, screen time should be limited to two hours a day for children ages two to five; whereas, for those youngest children—under two years—they recommend zero screen time.

While the average amount of screen time has remained constant over the years, the medium used during such screen time has rapidly shifted from the television to mobile devices. Screen media consumption on a mobile device used to occupy only 4% of a child’s screen time; in 2017, it grew to 35% The increasing prevalence of mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) in the home certainly explains this change in screen time habits. In 2011, less than 1% of children under the age of eight had their own tablet device.In 2013, the number rose to 7%, and by 2017, that number had skyrocketed to 42%.

Over the past decade, YouTube has both created and taken over the online video streaming market. However, the company has grown so rapidly, and the platform is so large and uncontrollable, that YouTube is struggling to keep inappropriate content from children.

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