Doctor Reveals Dangerous Content In YouTube Kids Videos

YouTube logo provided by Wikimedia Commons

YouTube logo provided by Wikimedia Commons

Dr Free Hess, a paediatrician and mother, had learnt about the chilling videos over the summer when another mum spotted one on YouTube Kids.

During one cartoon, a man appeared on the screen giving instructions on how to commit suicide, she told the Washington Post.

The video was still on YouTube despite numerous comments flagging up the harmful content, she said.

Recently, Hess said she saw the video again, this time on YouTube.

According to numerous reports, children have been watching Peppa Pig and Fortnite videos that then feature Momo instructing viewers to self-harm or perform other risky stunts.

I don't doubt that social media and things such as this are contributing, "she later told CNN".

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The pediatrician found seven more unsettling videos on YouTube Kids on Friday alone. "I think our children are facing a whole new world with social media and Internet access".

Hess said she has been writing about the distressing video clips on her blog, PediMom, to raise awareness and to get them removed from the platform.

YouTube Kids has previously come under fire for failing to curate content on the platform correctly, Business Insider reported previous year that conspiracy theory videos were prominent on the platform.

Northcott Community Special School took to Twitter to make parents aware of the hack.

A school has issued a warning to parents after the sick suicide Momo Challenge is believed to have "hacked" into popular children's games including Peppa Pig. The video shows a character opening fire and cursing before the video cuts to a dead body. "I had to stop, but I could have kept going", Hess said. It is unclear why he was edited into these clips, but his fans have been known to put him in memes and other videos. "He waited until parents' guards were down, thinking their kids were just watching a harmless cartoon when he made his entrance four minutes and forty-five seconds into this video".

Another provided a graphic description of a young girl's attempt to hang herself.

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The concerned mother added that YouTube Kids is supposed to be a safe website for children.

A fellow mother, a physician, had initially alerted her to the clip on YouTube Kids, saying it had been "intentionally planted on YouTube Kids to harm our children". There has to be a better way to assure this type of content is not being seen by our children. "Let's come together and find a solution", she wrote.

Andrea Faville, a spokeswoman for YouTube, said in a written statement that the company works to ensure that it is "not used to encourage unsafe behavior and we have strict policies that prohibit videos which promote self-harm".

The service claims that it uses a mix of filters, human reviewers, and feedback for its content. We've also been investing in new controls for parents including the ability to hand pick videos and channels in the app.

For support in the United States, call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255.

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