Totlol is a new video site that launched in beta this week aimed at children aged 6 months to 6 years. The site is community moderated to ensure that video content is always appropriate for small children.It's no secret that YouTube's age demographics skew young, but young still means 18-34, and much of the content on the site would be inappropriate for children under the age of 13 -- the COPPA cut off age that YouTube adheres to as the minimum allowed for anyone to sign up on the site.
When I first read "community moderated video site for kids under 6 years of age," my immediate reaction was, "bad idea." Community moderation, after all, isn't foolproof and before the community has time to react, often bad stuff slips through. But Totlol is set up in a way that parents are able to screen and weed out bad videos before they reach the eyes of their children.
The site is basically an additional layer of screening for YouTube. Parents scan the YouTube movie database via a special scouting tool on Totlol. When they find a video that they think is good for children under 6 years old, they tag it, add a description, and submit it to the database. The video then enters a screening queue were other parents are asked to answer whether it is appropriate for the site and for which age group the video would be most enjoyed. The screening answers are analyzed algorithmically and only videos that parents collectively deem age appropriate are added to the sites library.
Videos are then played via the YouTube API with a Totlol skin on the player. So far, Totlol users have added just over 100 videos to the site, which only allows people over the age of 18 to join -- assuring that it shields itself from child protection laws by putting parents in complete control.
Totlol is a cool idea, and the only children's video site that we know of that relies on parental screening to decide which videos to add to its database (though please let us know if there are any others in the comments). With the number of computer savvy 6-year-olds on the rise, this site will probably be a hit among both parents and toddler alike.