Inside Netflix’s Alleged Plan To Get Kids Hooked On Binge Watching

Jena Greene | Reporter

Netflix may be trying to get kids addicted to binge watching episodes, a new report claims.

According to The Sun, Netflix is testing a new feature for kids that rewards them for watching more shows. Specifically, the feature gives kids “patches” every time they sit for long stretches of time and watch multiple episodes. There’s no incentive other than the patch itself.

As of now, the patches are only available for select kids shows like “A Series Of Unfortunate Events,” and “Fuller House.”

A Netflix representative told Gizmodo magazine, “We are testing a new feature on select kids titles that introduces collectible items for a more interactive experience, adding an element of fun and providing kids something to talk about and share around the titles they love. We learn by testing and this feature may or may not become part of the Netflix experience.”

Some parents are naturally concerned about the new feature and have criticized it for trying to “undermine” parental control. Along with a multitude of parents, the Campaign For A Commercial-Free Childhood, a public US child advocacy group, have called for Netflix to eliminate the feature altogether.

Executive Director of Campaign For A Commercial-Free Childhood Josh Golin said, “It’s just incredible to me that as we’re having this national conversation about persuasive design of tech and how tech is often designed for the benefit of tech companies at the expense of users well-being, that Netflix would test something like this.”

He also urged parents to reconsider subscribing to Netflix, which is a nice thought but probably not pragmatic in practice. The company has denied all accusations that it’s trying to get kids hooked on bingeing, but it definitely sounds like that’s exactly what they’re doing.

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Jena Greene

Reporter

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