Published: Tue, February 26, 2019
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Doctor Reveals Dangerous Content In YouTube Kids Videos

Doctor Reveals Dangerous Content In YouTube Kids Videos

YouTube told WFTX the video violates its community guidelines, and a spokesperson said in part, "We work hard to ensure YouTube is not used to encourage unsafe behavior, and we have strict policies that prohibit videos which promote self-harm".

A U.S. mom had the shock of her life when she was alerted about sinister videos on YouTube, containing suicide instructions for kids.

"I believe this cartoon was up for about six months prior to it coming down", she told the station. Midway through a seemingly harmless video, a spliced video of a man wearing a pair of dark glasses pops up saying, "Remember kids!"

She said it's important for parents to educate themselves and be vigilant in monitoring what their children watch. Several spliced-in videos with problematic content have been flagged and removed, but the numerous others have been found by Free Hess, a pediatrician and mother.

Hess also wants parents to be more aware of what their children are watching on YouTube and YouTube Kids, and for parents to do a better job in general of keeping up with technology. "I immediately turned off the video", she wrote.

"I think it's extremely risky for our kids", Hess said about the clips Sunday in a phone interview with The Washington Post.

During one cartoon, a man appeared on the screen giving instructions on how to commit suicide, she told the Washington Post.

YouTube has long struggled with how to keep the platform free from such material - removing hateful and violent videos, banning unsafe pranks and cracking down on child sexual exploitation. As the world's biggest Internet video service, YouTube carries a heavy burden in protecting its users, especially the wee ones.

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Another version was reposted February 12, receiving more than 1,000 views before it, too, was removed from the site.

Nadine Kaslow, a past president of the American Psychological Association and professor at Emory University School of Medicine, told the Post that simply taking down the videos isn't enough.

Rogers-Wood said children might come to parents with questions.

"Once someone reports it, it's too late because a kid has already seen it", she said.

"Parents should talk with their children and emphasise that they can make their own choices and discuss ways of how to say no".

"In this next cartoon a young girl commits suicide with a knife after her father dies and her boyfriend breaks up with her", Hess said of another. What did I just see?

Hess became involved in seeking out disturbing content in children's clips on social media after she witnessed increased child suicide rates occurring within her emergency room in recent years. While a lapse may be possible on YouTube.com, YouTube Kids supposedly implements a stricter process in what gets into the app. "There needs to be messaging-this is why it's not okay".

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, risk factors associated with suicide may include mental disorders such as clinical depression, previous suicide attempts, a barrier to accessing mental health treatment, physical illness and feelings of hopelessness or isolation.

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