We want to inform you of a disturbing trend on YouTube: inappropriate videos targeted toward children. This disturbing trend features avatars of kid-friendly characters like Spider Man and Elsa, these videos aim to lure children into viewing violent, sexual or otherwise upsetting content. Some have made their way to Youtube Kids via keyword tags like “education,” “family,” or “nursery rhymes.”
We know that kids love YouTube. And for good reason! At its best, the platform is an ever-expanding resource for age-appropriate entertainment, education and discovery. But anyone can upload to YouTube, and no algorithm can guarantee child-safety.
So what can we do?
We recommend that parents have a conversation with their kids about disturbing videos lurking on YouTube. It’s important for children to recognize inappropriate content when they see it, and to feel safe reporting it to a parent.
Should you stumble upon an upsetting video targeted toward children, be sure to flag it—the video will be reviewed and removed by YouTube moderators.
Finally, we recommend that parents form and communicate a clear household policy regarding age-appropriate access to online media. You can monitor your child’s YouTube diet should you choose to. Checking browser history, restricting online devices to common rooms, child-settings on your browser, and maintaining open dialogue are just a few resources at your disposal. Every family is different, so design a policy that aligns with your values.
We hope this has been helpful. If you have any tips regarding online child-safety, be sure to contact us—we’d love to hear from you!
Let's keep the online space as safe as possible for our kids and keep their experience and interaction with the online world as positive as possible!