Doctor Reveals Dangerous Content In YouTube Kids Videos

27 February, 2019, 09:39 | Author: Jerome Frank
  • YouTube logo provided by Wikimedia Commons

Mom and pediatrician Free Hess posted the clip to her PediMom website and social media accounts.

A USA pediatrician is raising an alarm about instructions on how to slit one's wrists posted in YouTube videos targeted at children - showing that inappropriate content continues to slip through the online streaming site's filters.

As recently as Sunday, Hess noted on her Facebook page that she recorded a version of the clip "directly from YouTube Kids" that very afternoon.

"I think it's extremely risky for our kids", Dr Hess told the news outlet. Midway through a seemingly harmless video, a spliced video of a man wearing a pair of dark glasses pops up saying, "Remember kids! I don't doubt that social media and things such as this is contributing".

Hess found other videos on YouTube Kids that make light of and glorify suicide, sexual abuse, human trafficking, domestic violence, and shootings.

Ms Andrea Faville, a spokesman for YouTube, said in a written statement that the company works to ensure that it is "not used to encourage risky behaviour and we have strict policies that prohibit videos which promote self-harm".

Read the full story here.

Hess, a pediatrician, put out a call to action to different groups to report the video to get it removed from the site.

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"Every quarter we remove millions of videos and channels that violate our policies and we remove the majority of these videos before they have any views", the spokesperson said. YouTube also attempted to crack down on these videos following a number of reports about the videos.

"There were just so many that I had to stop recording", she told the news outlet.

Hess stated that she doesn't believe that YouTube is doing enough to curate the YouTube Kids platform and protect younger viewers from adult-themed content. In April past year, YouTube announced three new parental control features to give parents the ability to curate what their child is seeing on the app.

"We are always working to improve our systems and to remove violat [ing] content more quickly".

Hess did say that YouTube is faster about pulling questionable videos from YouTube Kids than from regular YouTube.

Dr Hess, from Florida, US, has been pushing to have the confronting YouTube clips removed, backed by other parents and child health experts. "The kids are the digital natives and the parents are digital immigrants". "Let's come together and find a solution", she wrote.

If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts or showing warning signs of suicide, please consider calling the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255), texting the Crisis Text Line at 741741, or seeking help from a professional. You can speak with someone who will provide free and confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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