Parents, YouTube Kids App May Not Be As Safe As You Think

Saul Bowman
March 1, 2019

A pediatrician in Florida found a clip inserted into videos posted on YouTube Kids that encourage children to harm themselves.

Alvarez said her 3-year-old son Ryder used the YouTube Kids app a lot until two weeks ago.

It's hard to say what happened to the video, as it appears to have been taken down and re-uploaded numerous times. Those actions included deleting the YouTube Kids app and forever banning it from the house. Inappropriate Content On YouTube Kids Free Hess, a mother and pediatrician from Florida, took notice of the inappropriate content hidden in a cartoon after another mother alerted her that such video on YouTube Kids exists.

Majority of parents that have children watching YouTube Kids feel relatively safe because the platform is child-friendly.

In a statement, YouTube said, "Flagged videos are manually reviewed 24/7 and any videos that don't belong in the app are removed". I don't doubt that social media and things such as this are contributing, "she later told CNN".

The Washington Post reported that the content had been discovered on YouTube aimed at children that offered instructions on how to commit suicide.


"The YouTube Kids team is made up of parents who care deeply about this, so it's extremely important for us to get this right, and we act quickly when videos are brought to our attention", a YouTube spokeswoman told CNET at the time.

Dr Hess says that the scene had been spliced into many videos on YouTube and YouTube Kids, containing scenes from the Nintendo game "Splatoon". "We should start by educating ourselves, educating our children, and speaking up when we see something that is risky for our children", Hess wrote on her blog.

Disturbing content, including videos showing children how to commit suicide, have reportedly appeared on popular video-streaming platforms YouTube and YouTube Kids, a shocked mother has found. Licensed child psychologist Nikel Rogers-Wood, Ph.D., of Rice Psychology in Tampa, said the videos prove parents have to be aware.

Dr Kaslow, who teaches at Emory University's school of medicine, said that some children who are more vulnerable may be drawn to such grim content. We've also been investing in new controls for parents including the ability to hand pick videos and channels in the app. But no system is flawless and inappropriate videos can slip through, so we're constantly working to improve our safeguards and offer more features to help parents create the right experience for their families.

If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal or in distress, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline number: 1-800-273-TALK (8255), which will put you in touch with a local crisis center.

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