For many parents, making sure their children are safe from harm is a full-time job. Being as curious as they are, children are prone to swallow foreign objects, eat crayons, poke their fingers into places that don’t belong, and a whole bunch of other extremely unadvisable dangers.
So after a long day of work and/or housework, many parents who are taking care of their kids will opt to amuse them with a phone or tablet while they get some much-needed rest. With kid-friendly games installed and YouTube Kids playing, most parents feel like they can rest easy while the kids are safely entertained. Except the kids aren’t safe!
In a report by The Washington Post, Dr Free Hess recounts a case reported by a mother who spotted a chilling sight when her child was on YouTube. She had been using YouTube Kids to distract her son while she treated his nosebleed.
It seemed like a simple, innocent cartoon until she saw something that was not right. “Four minutes and forty-five seconds into the video, a man quickly walked onto the screen, held his arm out, and taught the children watching this video how to properly kill themselves,” she shared.
She was shocked. Did that really just happen? She immediately took the tablet to investigate in private. She watched it again.
When the scene was shown, she described it, saying, “The man quickly walks in, holds his arm out, and tracing his forearm, said, ‘Kids, remember, cut sideways for attention, and longways for results.‘” WTF?
It seems some sick people have been intentionally creating these dangerous videos, disguising them as children’s videos to trick both parents and YouTube Kids’ algorithms to infect children with disturbing content: from twisted animations endorsing drugs to extreme violence. Sometimes, it starts normally enough but then they will slip in a disturbing scene or two in the midst of the video.
Abortions, drug use, sexual perversion, and just downright unsettling themes are prevalent in these videos.
“I was shocked,” Dr Hess said, sharing how such horrible scenes were placed inside videos of games and children’s cartoons across YouTube Kids. She reveals in a blog post how there are Minecraft videos depicting school shootings and cartoons which show suicide and human trafficking, with all of these videos lurking on YouTube disguised as children’s videos.
“I think it’s extremely dangerous for our kids…I think our kids are facing a whole new world with social media and Internet access. It’s changing the way they’re growing, and it’s changing the way they’re developing. I think videos like this put them at risk,” she said about the clips on Sunday (Feb 24) in a phone interview to Washington Post.
Nadine Kaslow, a past president of the American Psychological Association has warned that parents should monitor what their children do online. She also notes that these horrific videos may traumatise children or even manipulate them into harming and killing themselves, as most of them are too young to understand the consequences behind these actions in the videos.
With millions of views on some of those disturbing videos, we can’t imagine the scope of damage that’s been done already.
How terrifying! We can’t imagine how evil some predators have to be to target children like this. To all our readers, please educate any parents you know who leave their children unsupervised with technology. The internet can be a very dangerous place, and it takes everybody to make sure children online are safe.
Is this your first time hearing about these videos? Have you guys ever checked on what the children watch online? Let us know in the comments!
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