What the Tech? Protecting Children from Disturbing YouTube Videos

We’ve told you about these disturbing kids videos before. Brought it up 3 years ago.

Creepy, gross and way too provocative for kids. Videos that are all over YouTube. Find one, and kids can follow down a rabbit hole to hundreds of others. Now Google, which owns YouTube is cracking down.

Curious parents can easily find videos of Disney princesses drinking from the toilet, Peppa Pig throwing up in school, and Frozen’s Elsa on a Tinder date.

There are dozens of videos featuring Spiderman going to the bathroom. Some of the videos are created with plastic action figures while some feature adults wearing costumes.

Many of the videos have been viewed thousands and sometimes millions of times and unless parents watch closely, appear to be just another cartoon of their child’s favorite characters. Some of the disturbing videos have appeared in the YouTube Kids app.

YouTube’s been dealing with creators uploading this stuff for quite sometime. It’s now telling parents, videos similar to these will have no place on YouTube.

Google updated its community guidelines to remove misleading family content that target children, and feature sexual themes, violence and other mature themes not suitable for young audiences.

Videos that show family friendly cartoon characters injecting needles. Videos with prominent nursery rhymes in the title, that contain adult themes.

When I checked, I found many of the videos and channels have already been removed from YouTube. But that doesn’t necessarily mean YouTube is now family friendly. There’s a new age-restricted area that is meant for adults and not targeting minors and families.

Videos containing vulgar language, violence, sexually suggestive content and dangerous activities will get the age-restricted rating.

But parents, like anything else on the internet, age restrictions will not keep children from seeing them. While it’s tempting to let children go from one YouTube video to another with no supervision, they can easily run across a video not intended for children, and then get suggestions to similar videos.

Hats off to Google for taking steps to keep creators from targeting kids with these disturbing videos. It should not have taken this long.

Categories: News Video, What The Tech