What YouTube's Going to Do About Those Disturbing Videos That Target Kids

What YouTube's Going to Do About Those Disturbing Videos That Target Kids

In August of this year, YouTube announced that it would no longer allow creators to monetize videos which "made inappropriate use of family friendly characters".

"The architecture (that Google and YouTube) have built to extract the maximum revenue from online video is being hacked by persons unknown to abuse children, perhaps not even deliberately, but at a massive scale", wrote Bridle.

Still, despite these new steps taken, YouTube Kids still places the onus on users/parents.

According to YouTube's policy for age-restricted content, as part of determining if videos should be blocked from YouTube Kids, moderators will evaluate vulgar language, violence and disturbing imagery, nudity and sexually suggestive content, and the portrayal of harmful or risky activities.

YouTube Kids features a greatly restricted subset of videos available on the main site.

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YouTube plans to start age-restricting such flagged videos in coming weeks. After that, there is a team of humans that review videos which have been flagged. It has promised to age-restrict content that gets flagged by users.

Variety reports that YouTube is finally addressing the concerns of parents across the country about the filters in their YouTube Kids app, which have been letting these unusual iterations of normal children's programming through the filtering system. The videos already can't make money if they are flagged, the company said, but it will now attempt to chase them off the site. They appear to be targeted at kids who search for basic popular keywords (such as "Elsa") and then mindlessly watch the videos, letting them autoplay into other similar videos.

YouTube will be using its team of moderators to help sift through content and flag any videos that may be inappropriate. All age-gated content is also automatically exempt from advertising.

YouTube is trying to walk a fine line between owning up to this problem and arguing that the issue is relatively minor. Many videos include dark and disturbing elements, drawing bad press for YouTube when they appear on its supposedly safe YouTube Kids app.

They might show Peppa Pig, but experiencing excruciating pain and torture at the dentist, for instance. Parents have the ability to monitor what their children are watching, to set timers, to block certain channels and to report videos they see that are inappropriate. Given that YouTube Kids is often being used by children, it might be unlikely that numerous viewers will actually be in a place to do so.

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