YouTube Kids still shows disturbing videos

Newsround found several videos not suitable for children, including one showing how to sharpen knives.

YouTube has been criticised for using algorithms rather than human curators to decide what appears on YouTube Kids.

In 2015, two child safety groups complained after disturbing videos were found on the YouTube Kids app.

The videos included images of clowns with blood on them, scary advertisements and messages telling them someone was at their door.

“We’ve actually built a whole new platform for kids, called YouTube Kids, where we take the best content, stuff that children are most interested in and put it on there in a packaged up place just for kids,” she said.

YouTube said it had a variety of processes in place to try and prevent inappropriate material appearing on its platforms.

It told Newsround: “We have seen significant investment in building the right tools so people can flag that [content], and those flags are reviewed very, very quickly. We’re also beginning to use machine learning to identify the most harmful content, which is then automatically reviewed.”

Google said that ensuring YouTube remained an open platform “comes with real challenges because the content is uploaded and it is live”.

“It is a difficult balance to get right,” YouTube told Newsround, adding: “It is a difficult environment because things are moving so, so quickly.”

According to YouTube’s own statistics, almost a third of internet users use YouTube, and a billion hours of video is watched by those users every day.

Newsround asked YouTube whether it had a responsibility to check videos before they go on YouTube Kids.

The company said: “We have a responsibility to make sure the platform can survive and can thrive so that we have a collection that comes from around the world on there.”

See Also : On YouTube Kids, Startling Videos Slip Past Filters – The …

But the app contains dark corners, too, as videos that are disturbing for children slip past its filters, either by mistake or because bad actors have found ways to fool the YouTube Kids algorithms.

In recent months, parents like Ms. Burns have complained that their children have been shown videos with well-known characters in violent or lewd situations and other clips with disturbing imagery, sometimes set to nursery rhymes. Many have taken to Facebook to warn others, and share video screenshots showing moments ranging from a Claymation Spider-Man urinating on Elsa of “Frozen” to Nick Jr. characters in a strip club.

In recent months, parents like Ms. Burns have complained that their children have been shown videos with well-known characters in violent or lewd situations and other clips with disturbing imagery, sometimes set to nursery rhymes. Many have taken to Facebook to warn others, and share video screenshots showing moments ranging from a Claymation Spider-Man

This scene from a video on YouTube Kids shows Mickey Mouse in a pool of blood while Minnie Mouse watches, aghast.

Malik Ducard, YouTube’s global head of family and learning content, said that the inappropriate videos were “the extreme needle in the haystack,” but that “making the app family friendly is of the utmost importance to us.”

While the offending videos are a tiny fraction of YouTube Kids’ universe, they are another example of the potential for abuse on digital media platforms that rely on computer algorithms, rather than humans, to police the content that appears in front of people — in this case, very young people.

And they show, at a time when Congress is closely scrutinizing technology giants, how rules that govern at least some of the content on children’s television fail to extend to the digital world.

technology giants, how rules that govern at least some of the content on children’s television fail to extend to the digital world.

When videos are uploaded to YouTube, algorithms determine whether or not they are appropriate for YouTube Kids. The videos are continually monitored after that, Mr. Ducard said, a process that is “multilayered and uses a lot of machine learning.” Several parents said they expected the app to be safer because it asked during setup whether their child was in preschool or older.

When videos are uploaded to YouTube, algorithms determine whether or not they are appropriate for YouTube Kids. The videos are continually monitored after that, Mr. Ducard said, a process that is “multilayered and uses a lot of machine learning.” Several parents said they expected the app to be safer because it asked

This video on the app was uploaded to YouTube by a verified account called Freak Family, and has more than 20 million views.

Mr. Ducard said that while YouTube Kids may highlight some content, like Halloween videos in October, “it isn’t a curated experience.” Instead, “parents are in the driver’s seat,” he said, pointing to the ability to block channels, set usage timers and disable search results.

Parents are also encouraged to report inappropriate videos, which someone at YouTube then manually reviews, he said. He noted that in the past 30 days, “less than .005 percent” of the millions of videos viewed in the app were removed for being inappropriate.

Holly Hart of Gray, Tenn., said she was recently reading while her 3-year-old daughter was in the room when she noticed that Disney Junior characters in the video her daughter was watching started “turning into monsters and trying to feed each other to alligators.” An image previewing a recommended video showed the characters in a provocative pose.

“It was an eye-opener for me,” said Ms. Hart, who had downloaded the app because it was being used at the local elementary school.

Not all of the inappropriate videos feature cartoons. Alisa Clark Wilcken of Vernal, Utah, said her 4-year-old son had recently seen a video of a family playing roughly with a young girl, including a scene in which her forehead is shaved, causing her to wail and appear to bleed.

Not all of the inappropriate videos feature cartoons. Alisa Clark Wilcken of Vernal, Utah, said her 4-year-old son had recently seen a

of a family playing roughly with a young girl, including a scene in which her forehead is shaved, causing her to wail and appear to bleed.

Most of the videos flagged by parents were uploaded to YouTube in recent months by anonymous users with names like Kids Channel TV and Super Moon TV. The videos’ titles and descriptions feature popular character names and terms like “education” and “learn colors.”

They are independently animated, presumably to avoid copyright violations and detection. Some clips uploaded as recently as August have millions of views on the main YouTube site and run automatically placed ads, suggesting they are financially lucrative for the makers as well as YouTube, which shares in ad revenue. It is not clear how many of those views came on YouTube Kids.

One video on YouTube Kids from the account Subin TV shows the “PAW Patrol” characters in a strip club. One of them then visits a doctor and asks for her cartoon legs to be replaced with long, provocative human legs in stilettos . The account’s description says, “Video created with the purpose of learning and development of children!”

YouTube Kids from the account Subin TV shows the “PAW Patrol” characters in a strip club. One of them then visits a doctor and asks for her cartoon legs to be replaced with long, provocative human legs in stilettos

The account’s description says, “Video created with the purpose of learning and development of children!”

The account that posted the video seen by Ms. Burns’s son is named Super Ares TV and has a Facebook page called PAW Patrol Awesome TV. Questions sent there were mostly ignored, though the account did reply: “That’s a Cute character and video is a funny story, take it easy, that’s it.”

called PAW Patrol Awesome TV. Questions sent there were mostly ignored, though the account did reply: “That’s a Cute character and video is a funny story, take it easy, that’s it.”

The Super Ares TV account seems to be linked to a number of other channels targeting children with cartoon imitations, based on their similar channel fonts, animation style and Greek mythology-inspired names, from Super Hermes TV and Super Apollo TV to Super Hera TV.

A Super Zeus TV account included a link to a shopping site called SuperKidsShop.com, which is registered in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. A call to the phone number listed in that site’s registration records was answered by a man who declined to identify himself. He said that his partners were responsible for the videos and that a team of about 100 people worked on them. He said he would forward email requests for comment to them. Those emails went unanswered.

included a link to a shopping site called SuperKidsShop.com, which is registered in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. A call to the phone number listed in that site’s registration records was answered by a man who declined to identify himself. He said that his partners were responsible for the videos and that a team of about 100 people worked on them. He said he would forward email requests for comment to them. Those emails went unanswered.

Dr. Michael Rich, a pediatrics professor at Harvard Medical School and the director of the Center on Media and Child Health, said such videos brought up a host of issues for children. “It’s just made that much more upsetting by the fact that characters they thought they knew and trusted are behaving in these ways,” he said.

Ms. Burns said she still allowed her 3-year-old son, Isaac, to use YouTube Kids, though on a more limited, supervised basis.

Josh Golin, executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, argued that inappropriate videos on YouTube Kids showed hazards of today’s media reality.

“Algorithms are not a substitute for human intervention, and when it comes to creating a safe environment for children, you need humans,” Mr. Golin said. His group and the Center for Digital Democracy filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission in 2015 accusing YouTube Kids of deceptive marketing to parents based on inappropriate videos.

“Algorithms are not a substitute for human intervention, and when it comes to creating a safe environment for children, you need humans,” Mr. Golin said. His group and the Center for Digital Democracy filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission in

Using automation for online advertising has turned Google into a behemoth worth more than half a trillion dollars. The company has faced a new wave of criticism in the past year for lacking human oversight after its systems inadvertently funded fake news sites and hateful YouTube videos and most likely sold election-related ads to accounts affiliated with the Russian government.

Using automation for online advertising has turned Google into a behemoth worth more than half a trillion dollars. The company has faced a new wave of criticism in the past year for lacking human oversight after its systems inadvertently funded fake news sites and

Google has largely defended its errors by pointing to the enormous amount of content it hosts, including more than 400 hours of content uploaded to YouTube every minute.

Disney and Nickelodeon, mainstays of children’s programming, work with YouTube Kids to introduce children to their characters. But they are also aware that their content can be mixed in with disturbing knockoffs.

“Nickelodeon creates its characters and shows to entertain kids, so we share the same concern as parents about the unsuitable nature of some of the videos being served to them,” said David Bittler, a spokesman for the Viacom-owned network.

A Disney spokesman said YouTube Kids had assured the company that it was “working on ways to more effectively and proactively prevent this type of situation from occurring.”

Some parents have taken to deleting the app. Others, like Ms. Burns, still allow its use, just on a more limited, supervised basis.

“This is a children’s application — it’s targeted to children,” said Crissi Gilreath, a mother of two in Oklahoma, “and I just can’t believe that with such a big company they don’t have people whose job it is to filter and flag.”

A version of this article appears in print on November 5, 2017, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Child Friendly? Startling Videos Slip Past Filters. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

See Also : Something is Terribly Wrong With Many “Kids” Videos on …

A great number of YouTube videos aimed at children contain creepy, disturbing, violent and sexual content. Some even border on child abuse. It is time to take a closer look at these videos that generate millions of views per day.

Warning: This article contains disturbing images … although they’re all taken from children’s videos.

There is no easier way to get small children to pipe down than handing them a tablet or a smartphone. Toddlers know how to launch YouTube, play videos and even navigate to other “recommended videos”. This keeps children silent and entertained for long periods of time – a luxury that busy parents greatly appreciate.

While most parents hear the children’s music playing in the background, they rarely watch the videos played by their children. When they do glimpse at the screen, they see a character such as Spiderman or Princess Elsa and assume that everything is cool. But everything is not cool. There is something terribly wrong with some children’s YouTube videos and, often, those who create them do not have the best of intentions.

A great deal of these videos contains weird, disturbing, violent and even traumatizing content. They are insidiously mixed with other children’s videos, causing them to appear as “recommended videos” by YouTube and, therefore, easily accessible to children.

I am not talking about rare, obscure videos hiding in the depths of YouTube, I am talking about channels that cumulate billions of views.

Of course, the main motivation behind these videos is profit. All it takes is a few superhero costumes and a smartphone to create videos that can potentially generate lots of revenue.

However, some of these videos are simply not right. There appears to be a motivation that goes beyond profit. Some videos trick children into watching traumatizing content, others expose them to oddly “adult” situations. Even worse, some appear to cater to adults … who like to watch children. Here are some examples of the video cancer growing on YouTube (I won’t be linking to any of these videos or channels because I don’t want to help them get more hits).

Some video channels use popular characters to trick children into watching violent and disturbing material. The BBC recently reported on some of these videos.

Some video channels use popular characters to trick children into watching violent and disturbing material. The

Many videos clearly exploit children’s visceral fear and repulsion of certain things such as blood, syringes, cutting skin, tarantulas, evil clowns attacking them, etc. Children are horrified by what they are watching yet they cannot look away because the content is engrossing.

A great number of videos revolve around the theme of cutting open the stomach and extracting all kinds of weird and horrible things. In this video, a scalpel cuts open this bear’s stomach and a big ugly worm pops out.

In this video, a “nurse” cuts open a small girl’s stomach and takes out all kinds of scary objects such as a huge kitchen knife.

Here, someone dressed as the Joker threatens to throw a baby down the toilet. A great way to start potty training.

In this video, a bear poops all over his entire family. He then ends up stuck in the washing machine as family members drop their dirty clothes inside of it. All the while, a horrible rendition of the “Daddy Finger” song plays in the background. So many videos feature that song – as if something about it captures children’s attention.

Here, Spiderman grabs Elsa’s breasts for a very long time. Hulk and a bunch of other dudes are watching in the background.

Several YouTube channels star young children in all kinds of bizarre situations. Other than the fact that these children might be forced to appear in hundreds of videos for profit, they are also often made to enact traumatic situations. Here are screenshots from a channel named MaddaKenz Vlogs where the girls often appear to be genuinely unhappy and distressed.

Many videos feature the girls screaming or crying their heart out. In this video, this girl has something in her mouth that tastes horrible … And she’s forced to keep it in her mouth … And she doesn’t seem to be acting. Later in the video, they are eating snow with dog pee on it. Hopefully, it is fake pee. But still.

Here, a girl takes something from the toilet and force feeds it to the other girl. She doesn’t like this.

In another video, a creepy dude with clown makeup barges into the girls’ house and starts grabbing them while the girls scream and attempt to resist him.

Things get even weirder – to the point that I feel uncomfortable even posting screenshots on there. But this filth needs to be exposed.

The two girls are sitting in a bathtub dressed as mermaids. Who would actually sit there and watch that? You know who.

The girls are then given lipstick and they begin smearing their faces with it. There are actual adult videos that feature this type of stuff.

A girl in a high-cut outfit appears to be bleeding + there are bugs around her. EVERYTHING about that video is wrong.

Viewing these videos in order to write this article was a disturbing experience. Most of them trigger that gut feeling that something is wrong and that children’s innocence is being preyed on by twisted minds. Although there’s an absurd amount of this type of content on YouTube (this article could have been 10 times longer), I attempted to expose the various reasons why these videos are cancerous. Using underhanded and manipulative ways, these videos deliver disturbing content directly into the brains of very young children.

One wonders how these “amateur” channels can even exploit the likeness of these children’s characters without being hit with copyright infringement lawsuits. Also, many channels are clearly sponsored by major brands to produce videos that brainwash children into consuming their stuff (I recall watching a video where The Hulk eats Kinder chocolates for like 4 minutes non-stop). Obviously, there is big money and big corporations behind these cheap-looking videos.

However, the true aim of this article is not about YouTube moderation, it is about vigilance: Keep an eye on the videos watched by children. Analyze their contents. It only takes a few taps on a touchscreen for children to end up watching videos custom-made to poison their minds and shock their very core. And don’t be surprised if some of these video channels are linked to actual child abuse systems.

Newsround found several videos not suitable for children, including one showing how to sharpen knives.

YouTube has been criticised for using algorithms rather than human curators to decide what appears on YouTube Kids.

In 2015, two child safety groups complained after disturbing videos were found on the YouTube Kids app.

The videos included images of clowns with blood on them, scary advertisements and messages telling them someone was at their door.

“We’ve actually built a whole new platform for kids, called YouTube Kids, where we take the best content, stuff that children are most interested in and put it on there in a packaged up place just for kids,” she said.

YouTube said it had a variety of processes in place to try and prevent inappropriate material appearing on its platforms.

It told Newsround: “We have seen significant investment in building the right tools so people can flag that [content], and those flags are reviewed very, very quickly. We’re also beginning to use machine learning to identify the most harmful content, which is then automatically reviewed.”

Google said that ensuring YouTube remained an open platform “comes with real challenges because the content is uploaded and it is live”.

“It is a difficult balance to get right,” YouTube told Newsround, adding: “It is a difficult environment because things are moving so, so quickly.”

According to YouTube’s own statistics, almost a third of internet users use YouTube, and a billion hours of video is watched by those users every day.

Newsround asked YouTube whether it had a responsibility to check videos before they go on YouTube Kids.

The company said: “We have a responsibility to make sure the platform can survive and can thrive so that we have a collection that comes from around the world on there.”

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YouTube says it is “very sorry” after more disturbing videos were found on the YouTube Kids app. Newsround found several videos not suitable for children, including one showing how to sharpen …