YouTube for kids is really terrifying


#1

A couple of great articles have come out on this phenomenon.

Basically, there is some really weird and disturbing stuff that ends up slipping into the supposedly safe areas of YouTube because no one really curates this stuff. It’s mostly driven by algorithms, so there’s the odd issue of cartoons or even humans acting out whatever word salad gets jumbled into the monetary hit lists.


#2

Yep, my little guy loved it but we pulled it once we saw what was slipping through. I didn’t see anything too terrible, but it was obvious it was not curated enough for my tastes. Sounds like it’s even worse than I thought.


#3

Ironically - my 10 year old has been making some game play videos and he wants to know what he needs to do to get it to show up!! and here is this crap showing up all over!! crazy!


#4

Yeah, algorithmic curation isn’t good enough for little kids. Amazon does a really great job with this with their “Freetime” service and kid-targeted tablets. They’re 100% locked-down. Nobody else put the work in.


#5

Jesus man, tell me about it. I can’t let my kids use my ipad anymore because they go straight to youtube and turn up the freakiest things. I saw one cartoon he was watching that seemed fairly innocuous at first glance, it had Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but if you watching a bit more closely they were swearing and ripping apart enemies.


#6

Get them the Amazon kids tablet. It comes with a year of Amazon Freetime Unlimited (their curated kids’ service) and they will replace it no questions asked if your kids somehow manage to break it even with that giant case.

The 8" model has a sdcard slot so you can load it up with movies for long trips too.


#7

Yeah, that’s on my radar, seems like a good way for my kids to watch curated videos and play Minecraft and such.


#8

Good stuff, I got them for my nephews, convinced my friends to get them for their kids, etc.

Note this is actually the black friday price and the lowest it’s ever been. So if you’re interested, buy today.


#9

My kid watches this stupid show called Ryan’s Toy Review which is basically this kid in Irvine playing with a house full of toys and video games. So bizarre. It’s all about the stupid suggestions. What they need is a playlist of kid friendly stuff like trucks, construction equipment, helicopters, etc. I can’t trust just searching for it because of the rotten suggestions it brings up.


#10

I think these concerns are a bit overblown, as our twins watch the living hell out of YouTube kids and I do check it periodically. They tend to find families or series they like and stick with them, and mostly it’s the typical “family that unboxes a lot of toys and videos themselves on vacation and adventures” sort of stuff like hobby kids, for example, which they love:

I guess if you were just randomly searching and hit the weirdest edge stuff, but I dunno. The weirdest thing I’ve seen them find on their own was this BBC doc on the world’s tallest children but that was 100% legit, it’s a BBC doc for kids.

They do a lot of voice searches as well, but I audit it periodically and I’ve never seen anything untoward.

That said, it’s always good for Google to tighten the noose on this stuff if there are weird things (particularly copyright-infringey-things, you’d think they would be on top of that anyhow) slipping in around the edges.


#11

Since we’re all adults here, can someone link one of the really bad ones?


#12

#13

Pure genius. Well done, sir.


#14

I hope you’re happy now, Avtar!

-Tom


#15

That is indeed terrifying.


#16

God damn it.


#17

I thought it was advertisement, goddamnit!


#18

I’d say it’s pretty unlikely they haven’t come across any of the really weird shit if they watch that much. It freaked me out when I saw the crap that shows up on YouTube Kids. Familiar cartoon characters playing with shit, sex crap, adults dressed up as characters doing weird shit, cursing,etc. Some really fucked up stuff. And it’s all mixed in nicely with regular shows and content.


#19

Elsa and Spider-Man? Ya. I was appalled by that show which the girls somehow discovered and was hooked on it.


#20

Yep, probably the same ones. Really pisses me off that people would try to get little kids to watch this crap for money.