YouTube's 'Kid-Friendly' App Is Not At All Friendly; Contains Videos That Showcases Sex and Violence
YouTube's Kid-friendly app is full of disturbing videos, according to some child advocates. Google has marketed the YouTube Kids, the kid-friendly version of YouTube app, as safe for preschoolers.
Reportedly, the group raising questions on the content of the app will ask the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Google's app for unfair and deceptive business practices. If filed, it will be the second such complaint filed since the introduction of YouTube Kid.
"The deeper you get into this, the scarier it is in placing children at risk," said Dale Kunkel, a communications professor at the University of Arizona. "I'm astonished at the volume of inappropriate material, much of which will be harmful for kids if they see it."
Google said in a written statement Monday that it works to make the app's videos "as family-friendly as possible" and takes feedback very seriously, removing inappropriate videos flagged by users.
Some parents have also wrote reviews on the Google Play and iTunes store documenting how their children discovered violent, sexually explicit or other jaw-dropping content.
"Better filtering options needed I want to be able to reject specific videos or channels and have them never play again. Also it would be nice if you could limit the content shown to a specific language so my kids don't keep finding videos they can't understand," a parent wrote on the Google Play Store.
"Needs more parental controls Ability to block certain videos, channels and search term based results, ability to clearly highlight regular long episode videos versus the short clips that tend to annoy the kids and drive them away from YouTube to Netflix. Ability to lock the app and create playlists for the kids with their favorite videos," another parent noted.
Some examples of inappropriate content included:
- An Animaniacs episode where cartoon animals sing the words "piss," "fellatio," "penis," and more;
- a dancer demonstrating how to do the Michael Jackson "crotch grab" move;
- a Budweiser ad;
- a TED speaker talking about his first suicide attempt as a teenager;