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

"I think it's extremely risky for our kids", Hess said about the clips on YouTube Kids in a phone interview Sunday with The Washington Post. She said one used "Minecraft" themes to depict a school shooting.

However, YouTube kids has a history of letting disturbing and violent videos slipping past its algorithms.

Hess said the doctored "Splatoon" videos are not the only ones pushing dark and potentially risky content on social media platforms, particularly on YouTube Kids.

YouTube has formally released a written statement claiming that it works to ensure risky behaviour is not encouraged.

"There were just so many that I had to stop recording", she said.

"We rely on both user flagging and smart detection technology to flag this content for our reviewers", Ms Faville said. Although she reported the video, no action was taken by YouTube immediately, but eventually, it was deleted from the video-streaming site. Momo Suicide Challenge Promoted By YouTube? "Every quarter we remove millions of videos and channels that violate our policies".


In a statement, YouTube said, "Flagged videos are manually reviewed 24/7 and any videos that don't belong in the app are removed". Once again, after the video was flagged by her and others, it took a couple of days for YouTube to pull it, said Hess, who has been writing about the issue on her parenting blog. Exposing their curious nature to such videos can end up badly as they can trigger bad memories, nightmares or even attempt at mimicking suicide attempts shown in the videos. Other videos at the time featured Mickey Mouse in a pool of blood and Spider-Man urinating on Elsa, the princess from "Frozen", prompting backlash. There has to be a better way to assure this type of content is not being seen by our children.

Earlier this month, she found a second one - this time on YouTube.com. The Florida-based pediatrician has been blogging about the videos and is working with YouTube to get all of them taken down.

YouTube also said, "We've also been investing in new controls for parents including the ability to hand pick videos and channels in the app". Parents are highly encouraged to keep track of what their children are viewing on the internet.

It's been a rough couple of weeks for YouTube, first with the news about their growing pedophile problem.

/ A girl watches a video on youtube.

Majority of parents that have children watching YouTube Kids feel relatively safe because the platform is child-friendly. When Hess went to YouTube Kids and started exploring the site, what she saw there shocked her. "We also need to fight to have the developers of social media platforms held responsible when they do not assure that age restrictions are followed and when they do not remove inappropriate and/or risky material when reported".

  • Tracy Klein