March 24, 2019

Doctor Reveals Dangerous Content In YouTube Kids Videos

26 February 2019, 09:24 | Silvia Roy

Is You Tube Kids really safe? These videos will probably make you say “no.” by Kristen Chase | Feb 26 2019 | Social Media | 0 comments

Is You Tube Kids really safe? These videos will probably make you say “no.”

"I was shocked", Dr Hess said, noting that since then, the scene has been spliced into many more videos from the popular Nintendo game Splatoon on YouTube and YouTube Kids, a video app for children.

The clips show a YouTuber demonstrating a suicide method. The mother successfully launched a push to get the video removed from the "kid-friendly" website. "Remember, kids", he begins, holding what appears to be an imaginary blade to the inside of his arm.

Hess told WFTX she's trying to warn other parents about such 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 risky behavior, and we have strict policies that prohibit videos which promote self-harm".

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"I had to stop, but I could have kept going", Hess told CBS News.

"I think it's extremely unsafe for our children", Dr Hess said about the clips on Sunday in a phone interview with The Washington Post. "It's changing the way they're growing, and it's changing the way they're developing".

"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. 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.

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In February 2019, Hess said she saw the same disturbing clip on YouTube. She recorded it, wrote about it, and reported the content to the video-sharing platform, she said.

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A Florida mother has discovered shocking YouTube videos which give children instructions on how to kill themselves. After receiving no small amount of criticism over inappropriate content that escaped its filters, YouTube promised to apply more stringent screening of videos specifically aimed at kids. Licensed child psychologist Nikel Rogers-Wood, Ph.D., of Rice Psychology in Tampa, said the videos prove parents have to be aware.

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But Nadine Kaslow, a former president of the American Psychological Association and professor at Emory University School of Medicine, told the Post that taking down the videos isn't enough. Kids are young to understand the consequences and it would be too late before parents realise it.

"We need to fix this", she said, "and we all need to fix this together".

Hess added to CBS News that she made it her mission to bring awareness to disturbing and violent content children consume on social media after seeing higher rates of suicide in children in her own emergency room over the last few years. "There needs to be messaging - this is why it's not OK".

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For support in the United States, call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255.

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