We all cheered when YouTube Kids came out. Finally a safe place for kids to watch their favorite videos! Unfortunately, millions of disturbing YouTube Kids videos have been uploaded, bypassing filters meant to keep kids safe. (Keep reading to find our list of alternative parent-approved kid sites.)
It’s horrifying to realize that kids viewing these videos can be exposed to:
- Lewd acts and other sexually suggestive content
- Simulated extreme acts of violence
- Enactments of kidnapping from monsters or scary clowns
- Bloody scenes
- Kids injecting substances into buttocks (seriously!)
Preschool programming turns nightmarish
Staci Burns recently shared her YouTube Kids horror story with the New York Times. She had assumed her 3-year-old son was watching a familiar educational cartoon. Never did she imagine he was being exposed to creepy knock-off videos of Paw Patrol with suicidal themes!
Staci was furious to discover content so clearly unsuitable for children could find its way onto YouTube Kids. (You’ll discover below, it’s not that uncommon!)
Responding to Burns’s experience, Dr. Michael Rich, a pediatrics professor at Harvard Medical School and the director of the Center on Media and Child Health, agreed that the content of these disturbing videos could bring up a host of negative issues in children.
“It’s just made that much more upsetting by the fact that characters they thought they knew and trusted are behaving in these ways.”
More dark corners on YouTube Kids
Variety magazine elaborates on what other surprises could be waiting for young children on YouTube Kids:
“[There’s] a bizarre subgenre on YouTube using children’s characters in freakish, violent or sexual situations. Examples include Nickelodeon characters dying in a fiery car crash and pole-dancing in a strip club, and popular British kids’ character Peppa Pig drinking bleach or enduring a horrific visit to the dentist.”
Recently, YouTube cracked down and terminated an entire channel called Toy Freaks, “a channel that featured videos of a single dad and his two daughters in odd and upsetting situations.” But not before it earned 8.53 million subscribers! Toy Freaks was among the top 100 most viewed channels on YouTube. It was only shut down after YouTube (finally!!) determined that the videos “attracted audience members who do not have children’s best interests in their hearts.”
ElsaGate is yet another sick phenomenon YouTube Kids is scrambling to clear off its platform. These videos feature Spiderman, Frozen Elsa, Joker, Mickey Mouse and other familiar characters in the context of extremely inappropriate topics —all targeted at kids.
Many are concerned these bizarre videos are produced for a purpose more sinister than a quick cash grab. Obsessions with bondage, kidnapping, violent acts, bodily functions, and masked onlookers (usually Spiderman and Joker) may be fetishes associated with pedophilia.
Without concrete evidence it’s difficult to prove the videos have been uploaded for the purpose of luring and grooming children. Still there is no excuse for YouTube Kids allowing such disturbing content to remain in circulation as long as it has.
Predators leave obscene comments on videos
We know child predators have a strong presence on YouTube Kids when even fairly innocent videos uploaded by children are attracting tons of sexual comments!! BBC News Trending just reported on how Google, parent company of YouTube, has been unresponsive to reports made through their public flagging forms. These comments are so vulgar they would not read or show them in the following video report:
So, is YouTube doing anything about this? Find out by clicking here.