Youtube has been a hit among young children since its incorporation days back in 2005 till now. Kids cling to Youtube for sing-along sessions to maths lessons, science experiments, DIY craft, to cartoons. Given the popularity of Youtube in children, the company launched YouTube Kids in 2015. Despite the popularity of YouTube and the massively entertaining and learning content available on YouTube, it is unsafe for children and is dangerous for young kids.
The inappropriate content on YouTube is freely accessible by kids, right from adult content to substance abuse content. However, YouTube has restricted violent and offending videos; it still poses a threat to young minds as malicious content can surface anytime with even an age-appropriate simple search.
The company designed YouTube Kids primarily for seven-year-old children to explore their world without bad influences. YouTube manages the sites that create child-friendly and educational content like Winnie the Pooh, Peppa Pig, and Thomas and Friends. Of course, it didn’t look anything like it used to be. YouTube Kids aimed at creating rich content with vibrant, thrilling, compelling visuals, funny images, and childish sounds. YouTube Kids also offers a parental control feature that allows you to set a timeline for restricting watch hours on YouTube. It would have been all the better if you could safeguard what your child searched. So, you might want to block the search function in the first place.
It allows you to set up profiles for your kids, and they can select their personal avatars and passwords for login and identification purposes, which is quite exciting for kids. However, as a parent, you can override the same if you don’t want to give free access to your child. After the account is set up, the YouTube Algorithm throws suggestions that match your child’s preferences and age appropriateness.
All of this sounds so good. Then why are we even discussing the possible dangers associated with YouTube? Probably because YouTube has been facing challenges since the beginning. Ideally, the children-friendly content should be separated and go to YouTube Kids, and adult content should only be restricted to YT. Still, many parents have noticed inappropriate images or links popping up on YTKids, which is supposedly meant for kids:
- Substance abuse and offending adult jokes.
- Cartoon images with sexual content.
- Adult talks, porn stuff, and child abuse.
- Characters showing violent behavior.
Despite changing the moderating technique, dangerous content surfaces on the YouTube app, for instance:
- Dr. Free Hess, an FL pediatrician, flagged ten videos on YouTube last year that emulated characters committing suicide, child and female abuse, and offensive school shootings. The YouTube team later deleted the content. These videos keep popping up on YouTube and make their way to YouTube Kids as well.
- One of the horrific videos initially posted by Toasty Qween on YouTube depicted a girl killing herself with a knife and a song:” Don’t Worry Child” playing in the backdrop. Shockingly the same video had about 1 million views.
- Another terrifying cartoon video named “Smoke and Mirrors” posted by Rika Xox shows a girl stabbing another girl lying in a chair.
- Doki Doki Rainclouds New End is another disgusting cartoon video that shows a girl narrating a suicide scene.
- Horror games like Granny, Slenderina, Slenderman, and Grandpa, Jeff the Killer are all loaded with filthy content that may corrupt children’s minds. Monster School Slenderman depicts a character hunting for his victims in a school, shoots them, and laughs.
- Dr. Hess also pointed out horrific cartoons on YouTube Kids that depict unhealthy and toxic relationships.
How is such offensive content contributing to shaping up the character of kids? These will only negatively influence them; they will think murdering a person is acceptable and gives pleasure. Sadly, no one cares to stop content developers who are destroying the innocence of children.
It is pretty evident; no parent would want their kids to watch such stuff.
Some more people have reported offensive content on YouTube; one of the parents revealed the 9-second clip that was a tutorial on suicide instructing the kids to end their lives. The character says:”
“Remember kids: sideways for attention, longways for results. End it!”. It was disguised as a cartoon video. It took a lot of effort by the agitated parents to get it removed.
Unbelievably, the YouTube Kids team took a good one week to delete it. It was very irresponsible on their part. Unfortunately, such clips still exist on YouTube. Worst of all was child pornography video embedded by hackers on the videos posted by kids and their mums.
Parents should report abuse as soon as they stumble upon any inappropriate content on YouTube.
What Can Parents Do to Keep Their Children Safe on YouTube?
For obvious reasons, neither YouTUbe nor YouTube kids are safe for your kids. Practically, it’s challenging to keep the children away from YouTue completely, but you could try the following things:
- Set a specific timeline weekly, wherein you can watch YouTube as a family together. If at all you come across any malicious content, you should immediately report and block the link.
- Talk to your kids, make them aware of bad content, and share what they should do if they notice malicious sites or links.
- Block YouTube Kids, youtube, and other social media apps on the personal gadgets your children use.
- Only allow access to Youtube in a common area, where you can keep an eye on them.
- Use a parental control mechanism like Netsanity’s filter on your devices to make YouTube surfing experience safe for your kids.
YouTube Parental Control Apps
You are the best judge for your children; you know what works well for them if they can’t decide for themselves. You can counsel them and block the app. No matter how popular youtube is, several other streaming apps are child-friendly.
Try Netsanity AppBlocker
You can subscribe to Netsanity’s app blocker and game blocker. It allows you to block all the internet-based apps or games just with a single click. Netsanity has listed 60 popular apps and games that children use a lot after thorough research and profiling.
Block The Apps You Want
Netsanity’s list of apps and games is collated based on children’s high usage, parents’ requests, and exclusive research. One of these app blockers and game blockers’ salient features is that you are not required to delete any of the apps from children’s gadgets. For example, you can allow them to see youtube or Instagram; simultaneously, you want to limit their watch hours and block it sometimes. You can click on the YouTube icon remotely using the app blocker, and YouTube or IG will not function at all on any of the browsers.
Video & Comment Filtering
With a single stroke, you can activate robust YouTube parental controls that will sweep away the content that your kids shouldn’t be watching. The app filters out any malicious link embedded in the comment section also. You may have never felt so empowering with just a single toggle. Give it a try to safeguard your children against vulgar content.
Even though YouTube is the top social media site, it doesn’t have many features to restrict inappropriate content, and it isn’t a safe place for kids. As per the Pew organization’s research, around 75% of parents, 94% of youth between 18-24 years old use YouTube in the states, and kids are no different. There is massive trash of content available on YouTube targeting children; sadly, none is age-appropriate and useful; instead, it poses a danger to the young minds. As a parent, you need to restrict their YouTube watch-time and report and block adult content. You should keep yourself abraded with parent control mechanisms and try out apps that help you filter out unwanted content that you don’t want your child to see.