It’s no secret that lots of kids these days spend too much time in front of screens, and now Netflix is being accused of trying to make things worse by encouraging them to be binge watchers.
The streaming site is testing a new feature that rewards kids with “patches” for watching TV shows like “Fuller House,” “Trollhunter” or “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” They say the patches are just a way of “adding an element of fun and providing kids something to talk about and share around the titles they love,” but some experts are worried that incentivizing TV watching will create a new generation of binge watchers
“It’s designed to turn kids into lobbyists and undermine parents’ limits,” Josh Golin, executive director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, tells Gizmodo. “Children like to collect things. So this will probably be incredibly effective at getting kids wanting to watch more and more Netflix.”
But Netflix insists the patches can’t lead to bigger problems, and say kids can’t access other content using the patches, and they don’t necessarily have to watch several episodes to earn their rewards.