Youtube Kids is a parental control tool made for children under 12 years of age to navigate YouTube safely. In this way, parents can configure Youtube Kids to only show them the videos appropriate to the child’s age.
Children between the ages of five and eight can find content such as songs or cartoons and at older ages there is a greater variety of videos. In addition, this tool allows parents to block any video or channel that we do not think is appropriate for children to see.
But can we completely trust Yotube Kids? Is this tool safe for children or can other inappropriate content be found?
Why is Youtube Kids not completely safe?
A study carried out by Common Sense Media revealed that 27% of the content seen by children under the age of eight on YouTube Kids is not appropriate for their age, but for older people.
There have been several controversies that confirm this data. In 2017, the news broke that there were videos of violent content on YouTube Kids that should not be allowed on the normal YouTube platform. For example, there were modified Paw Patrol videos in which many of the dogs died; Peppa Pig videos in which she goes to the dentist and has her teeth pulled out violently …
From YouTube they justified themselves by claiming that on some occasions the algorithm they use on the platform to filter content fails and that many videos also manage to escape the filters.
Although this platform is not completely secure, YouTube is trying to improve the restriction of all these videos and privacy. For example, each time a video is uploaded, there is an option to “Content made for kids”, which when selected, does not allow to obtain economic profitability.
It was also in 2017 when YouTube restricted by age those videos in which family entertainment characters were used, but whose themes were aimed at adults. In this way, these restricted videos could not appear on YouTube Kids.
Ads on Youtube Kids
As on YouTube, the children’s version also includes ads. These ads are filtered and there are certain categories of products that cannot appear, such as ads for beauty, dating, food or drink, politics, religion, virtual communities or video games.
Should we leave our children alone with Youtube Kids?
Although YouTube Kids is a safer tool than the YouTube platform without filters, we must always be vigilant and monitor the content that our children access on the Internet. We must monitor and educate them digitally so that they make good use of technologies. And for this, we must set an example and be present with our children. If they see that we are not with our mobile the time we spend with them, they will not have the need to be with the screens, but with us.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.