Parents Warned About 'Suicidal' Videos on YouTube Kids

Friday, 01 Mar, 2019

"Remember kids, sideways for attention, longways for results", the man says, miming cutting motions on his forearm.

Dr Hess, from Florida, US, has been pushing to have the confronting YouTube clips removed, backed by other parents and child health experts.

In February 2019, Hess said she saw the same disturbing clip on YouTube.

YouTube did take down that self-harm video, but the blog warns about other edited children's videos.

"I think it's extremely unsafe for our kids", Dr Hess told the news outlet.

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

But this isn't the first instance of social media promoting suicide and self-harm.

Andrea Faville, A YouTube representative, said that the company relies on both "user flagging and smart detection technology" to flag inappropriate content for users.

The mother, who remained anonymous, said she put on the video to distract her son as she took care of his nosebleed.

Dr Free Hess, a paediatrician and mother, had learnt about the chilling videos over the summer when another mum spotted one on YouTube Kids. Many contain-and attract clicks with-popular cartoon characters, such as Elsa from the 2013 animated Disney film Frozen.

Parents NEED to be aware of this!

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. "I had to stop, but I could have kept going", Hess said.

Usually, kids are left alone with an iPad or a smartphone as they watch cartoons on YouTube or YouTube Kids. "One suggested video was an hours-long lecture by Icke in which he claims that aliens built the pyramids, that the planet is run by reptile-human hybrids, that Freemasons engage in human sacrifice, that the assassination of President Kennedy was planned by the USA government, and that humans would evolve in 2012".

Another provided a graphic description of a young girl's attempt to hang herself.

Majority of parents that have children watching YouTube Kids feel relatively safe because the platform is child-friendly.

"Unlike YouTube itself, YouTube Kids is supposed to be specifically FOR kids". "We agree this content is unacceptable and are committed to making the app better every day". "Let's come together and find a solution", she wrote.

We use a mix of filters, user feedback and human reviewers to keep the videos in YouTube Kids family friendly.

"There's also a whole suite of parental controls, so you can tailor the experience to your family's needs". In April previous year, YouTube announced three new parental control features to give parents the ability to curate what their child is seeing on the app.