January 28, 2021

#DirtyDozenList Victory: Celebrating Amazon’s New Parental Controls 

While we believe that BigTech has a responsibility to proactively create safe spaces online (especially for children) without being pressured to do so by advocacy organizations and parents, we still appreciate when corporations make positive changes.   

We thank Amazon Prime Video for finally giving parents some control about what kind of media their young children are exposed to on its platform.  

With Amazon Originals producing content with gratuitous amounts of nudity and sexual violence and Prime Video hosting NC-17 titles that regularly show up right next to content intended for children, NCOSE has been requesting Amazon for years to create systems to prevent kids from easily accessing material harmful to young viewers.Amazon has finally rolled out some key developments to address our concerns. You can now set up different profiles with content restrictions for up to 6 different users on your Prime Video account. You can also now set up “Kids profiles” where only films and shows that are appropriate for kids under age 12 will be available.  

Thanks @Amazon & @PrimeVideo for improving parental controls. Next, can you enable us to lock profiles so kids can't move from one to the other? #internetsafety #techtips Click To Tweet

While these are major improvements for safety, we request Amazon continue to rollout safety measures on Prime Video. Some of our remaining concerns: 

  • These features do not work if you are accessing Prime Video from Xbox. 
  • Kids can just move from profile to profile without a pin. (This was the same problem Netflix had and fixed thanks to our advocacy in 2020.) The only way around this is to have the strictest age restrictions on all profiles until Amazon fixes this. 
  • If you have downloaded mature rated content on any of your devices to watch when you’re not connected, it will be available to kids no matter your settings. 
  • Ironically, none of these features when set at the account owner level will work on Amazon’s own Fire TV, Fire Tablet, or Fire phone. Users will have to manually set parental controls for each of these systems separately, whch is just redundant and complicated for already overburdened parents. (Here’s how for Fire Tablet, for Fire TV, for Fire Phone.) 

Should Amazon Remain on the 2021 Dirty Dozen List?

Let us know what you think on Twitter @NCOSE or by email public@ncose.com 

Amazon has been a member of our annual Dirty Dozen List for many years. One reason was the complete lack of any parental controls on Prime Video. Check that one off now!  

Read about some of our other concerns though—like Amazon selling sex dolls, many with childlike features, or Amazon hosting thousands of pornography and prostitution websites—and let us know if they’ve improved enough.  

Use the New Tools!  

For now, we want to make sure you all know how to use these Prime Video tools! Follow the screenshots below to set them up. Note that you will need to set up the rating restrictions separately for each profile.  

Direct link to Parental Controls: https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/settings/parental-controls 

You can add/edit profiles easily by going to https://www.primevideo.com/  

If you click on “Add New” profile, you can enable the new “Kids Profile” setting which will only allow content rated for kids under age 12. 


IN CASE YOU MISSED THESE OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS!  

TikTok has also made major improvements on their platform for child safety. Read more and join us in thanking them here.

The 2021 Dirty Dozen List will be revealed on February 23, 2021. RSVP here to join the virtual launch event!

Dawn Hawkins

Senior Vice President and Executive Director

Dawn Hawkins is a passionate abolitionist and defender of human rights who has dedicated her life to fighting against societal harms that threaten the dignity of others. Her energy, creativity and mobilization skills have revived the anti-pornography movement and her intentional emphasis on the intersectionality of forms of sexual exploitation has proven a unique and effective strategy for curbing them.

 

As Sr. Vice President and Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), Mrs. Hawkins has developed a global strategy uniting more than 300 women’s rights, conservative, child advocacy, medical professionals, law enforcement, and religious groups, including a bipartisan political leadership, to work together in raising awareness of the connections between all forms of sexual exploitation. Her initiatives have lead to sweeping policy changes of policies that foster exploitation for targets such as Google, Hilton Worldwide, Comcast, Walmart, and the Department of Defense. Through her leadership, NCOSE has grown a network reaching hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. Mrs. Hawkins has appeared on many local and national television programs, including CNN, Fox & Friends, and Good Morning America. She regularly authors articles and speaks around the country addressing the public health harms of pornography, curbing demand for sex trafficking, protecting children and families in our digital world, and more.

Further Reading

Related