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Alert: Disturbing YouTube Videos Tricking Our Kids
Parents, there’s yet another thing to look out for. There are thousands of videos on YouTube which are look-a-like versions of popular cartoons. They contain disturbing and inappropriate content – NOT suitable for children.
You may think its an ordinary Peppa Pig video but if you pay close attention the usual happy story plot has turned dark.In a particular video, Peppa Pig is visiting the Dentist, who comes out with a rather large syringe and then pulls out Peppa’s teeth. All you hear is distressed crying on the soundtrack.
Journalist and Mom, Laura June, almost immediately noticed something was not right as her three-year-old daughter was watching it.
On the website The Outline, she shared the experience: “Peppa does a lot of screaming and crying and the dentist is just a bit sadistic and it’s just way, way off what a three-year-old should watch,” June says.
“But the animation is like close enough to looking like Peppa – it’s crude but it’s close enough that my daughter was like ‘This is Peppa Pig.'”
If you do enough searching, you’ll also find hundreds of similar videos of children’s cartoon characters with inappropriate themes. There are similar videos featuring characters from the Disney movie Frozen, Trolls, the Minions franchise, Doc McStuffins, and many more.
Some of the videos are parodies and some have over-the-top content which is clearly meant for mature audiences.
The scary thing about this disturbing content is that it can pass for the real cartoons, particularly when viewed by children.
One channel “Toys and Funny Kids Surprise Eggs” is one of the most popular YouTube channels in the world.
The landing page of the channel features a photo of a cute toddler alongside official-looking pictures of Peppa Pig, Thomas the Tank Engine, the Cookie Monster, Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Elsa from Frozen.
But …. the videos on the channel have titles like “FROZEN ELSA HUGE SNOT”, and “BLOODY ELSA: Frozen Elsa’s Arm is Broken by Spiderman”. The videos feature animated violence and graphic toilet humour.
The important thing to note is that parents should take more care when it comes to allowing their children to watch cartoons on YouTube.
Sonia Livingstone, an expert on child online safety and professor of social psychology at the London School of Economics, spoke to BBC news. She said
“It’s perfectly legitimate for a parent to believe that something called Peppa Pig is going to be Peppa Pig,” she says. “And I think many of them have come to trust YouTube… as a way of entertaining your child for ten minutes while the parent makes a phone call. I think if it wants to be a trusted brand then parents should know that protection is in place.”
“I don’t think we want to police it for the whole world,”
Livingstone says. “A lot of this material is satirical, creative – or actually offensive but within freedom of expression. What we need is child protection.”
YouTube has responded to the article in a statement which said: “We take feedback very seriously. We appreciate people drawing problematic content to our attention, and make it easy for anyone to flag a video.Flagged videos are manually reviewed 24/7 and any videos that don’t belong in the app are removed within hours. For parents who want a more restricted experience, we recommend that they turn off the Search feature in the app.”
The company also recommended that parents use the YouTube Kids app, which is available for both mobile phones and tablets – and to turn on “restricted mode” which limits flagged content. This feature can be found at the bottom of any page on the YouTube site, but cautions that “no filter is 100% accurate“.