back to article Better filters won't cure this: YouTube's kids nightmare

For the "smartest guys in the room", Google often seems to be the last to know what’s going on in its own front room. And something very strange indeed is going on over at YouTube. The artist James Bridle – who created the witty "self-driving car trap" (spoiler: it's a chalk circle) – has been investigating the outer reaches …

  1. Paul Woodhouse

    Never watched Tom and Jerry or the Roadrunner as a kid?...

    1. Solarflare

      If you've ever had the displeasure of seeing some of this stuff, it's a bit different. Loony Tunes was very slapstick. This stuff is just...bizzare. My youngest nephew likes watching videos about cars. Starts off as the disney film stuff and then related videos and autoplays gets it towards this sort of stuff. It's mass produced rubbish at best but is a massive moneymaker for YouTube and the creators of the (really really weird) tat.

      The channels that do this seem to be hidden, you don't see them in the 'top all time' lists, but many of them have billions of views. And they have ads, those ads get watched because the children are just watching and can't (or don't) skip...so it makes a huge amount of money.

      It's weird and distrubing in a multitude of ways.

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Never watched Tom and Jerry or the Roadrunner as a kid?...

      You've missed the point. And 'Tom and Jerry' won seven Oscars.

      1. Jim 59

        Tom and Jerry won seven Oscars? Excellent. Fully deserved. It remains the funniest thing to hit the screen ever, anywhere.

        4 for Tom and 3 for Jerry ?

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Tom & Jerry

          Like it as a 'wee nipper'...

          But as I got older, it was to Daffy or Bugs as Swap Shop was to Tiswas or Mighty Mouse to Danger Mouse.

          Less said about Tom & Jerry Kids the better....

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Never watched Tom and Jerry or the Roadrunner..."

      Not the Roadrunner. I could never catch that damn roadrunner.

      Everyday I'd hear "Beep Beep" from the TV. But everytime I'd run into the living room to catch it, I'd have an unlikely collision with the couch, roof, boulder ... even an anvil one time (I'm not even a blacksmith!).

  2. ratfox Silver badge

    I really wonder why these videos have to be so weird. I mean, that videos for children don't need to be high quality and can be churned out at low cost, fine. But why do they need to be disturbing?

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      "But why do they need to be disturbing?"

      Apparently "disturbing" is a minima.

    2. S4qFBxkFFg

      "low cost" is relative. Obviously the production is a bit shonky, but many of them have ~4 professional (professional in a very technical sense) actors, apparently decent lighting/camera, and shooting locations in the USA. (Interestingly, all expense appears to have been spared on the sound.)

      It's something that would be a rounding error in film/TV, but more than what one person of average wealth could arrange as a side project.

      I'd be very interested in an in-depth interview with the people involved.

      1. Chris 3

        From what I can tell, you hire that lot for 3 hours and then churn out 60 x 2 minute video using the same actors, costumes and sets. Boom, job done.

    3. Muscleguy Silver badge

      Back in the '70s in NZ we got cheap Czech and Polish cartoons, undubbed. Ren and Stimpy reminded me of them in terms of pictorial style. Not understanding either Czecheslovak or Polish they were mildly disturbing. They must be, they have stuck in my mind all this time. Must have been why I liked Ren and Stimpy which my kids watched. I like Pinky and the Brain too, I did fiendish experiments on mice professionally.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        70's disturbing TV

        I somehow doubt any of these alleged disturbing videos could be more disturbing than 1970's RTE output aimed at children...

        Then there's UK TV Fingermouse....

        1. cyberdemon
          Devil

          Re: 70's disturbing TV

          I wasn't around in the 70s but i found The Moomins pretty disturbing in the 90s!

          1. cyberdemon
            WTF?

            Re: 70's disturbing TV

            Ok, after having watched some of the videos referenced by TFA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlNKi5etxhk), this is a lot weirder than the Moomins!

          2. Teknogrot

            Re: 70's disturbing TV

            In the Night Garden was genuinely disturbing the first time I randomly saw it on TV at some odd hour due to new digital TV schedules deciding that CBeebies needed to be on after midnight.

        2. Desgrippes

          Re: 70's disturbing TV

          Here comes The Wagon.....

    4. veti Silver badge

      It's not that they have to be weird, just that there's nothing stopping them from being weird.

      The article explains this pretty well. First, assume that the production is automated. (There are quite a lot of indicators that this is the case.) Then, remember that trolls are a thing, and some get popular.

      Now, your automated algorithm is set to work out "what's popular" and "how to get onto the most popular 'videos like this' lists". When an intentionally produced troll video gets enough views, it becomes as a valid input to the algorithm. And to get onto the lists, it dresses itself up as a kids' video - and the damage is done, without any malicious human intervention at all.

  3. ntevanza

    Revenge of the machines

    Our experience has been that you can't let kids watch online video unattended. The algo will just keep choosing new shit to watch, which gets shitter as the chain of association gets longer. And little kids will watch anything.

    Later on in the growing up process, a not inconsiderable problem is an education system that is neither equipped nor designed to teach critical thinking. If you watch random YouTube, then you are probably neither designed nor equipped to teach this to your kids, either.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Revenge of the machines

      And the problem is restricted to children ?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Incoming sweary rant, look away kids if offended. That seems kind of appropriate.

    This really fucks me off, I have two young children 4 and 6. They used to watch you tube until I noticed them watching some prick teenager getting all arsey about spiderman and generally being pricks to each other. Sure, you can say I'm not a good parent for allowing them access to the you tube kids app but it's supposed to be for kids and previously I wasn't aware of all the really nasty shit that's out there. It gets a lot worse than gobby teenagers.

    Here is where it gets even more fun, the you tube itself app is installed on most tablets and you can't remove it, sure, feel free to disable it but if you have kids like mine they just re-enable it even though I've never let them see me disable it. I know, lets go one up and install an app lock, sure I'm getting smug now thinking, "get round that you smart arses", what happens next? Oh they just boot the tablet into safe mode. Arghhhhhh!

    I'm not the sort of person to give up so I think, what's the best way to stop it? So I have pi-hole installed for ads and I add the following (posted here for reference for others)

    youtube.com

    www.youtube.com

    m.youtube.com

    ytimg.com

    s.ytimg.com

    ytimg.l.google.com

    youtube.l.google.com

    i.google.com

    googlevideo.com

    youtu.be

    No more you tube and unless they learn about proxies and vpn's they aren't getting on it.

    To counter the lack of video content I have an emby server with lots of films and tv shows that are appropriate for their ages.

    If our government actually gave a shit about the children it's supposed to be protecting by shitting on all my privacy then it would force google to sort its shit out.

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      "then it would force google to sort its shit out."

      Our government is unable to sort the least of its own shit out. It is hardly going to start on Google.

      This lot is so incompetent that I think if Johnson accidentally declares war on Syria, as he might easily do, six months down the line the UK will have a President Assad.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If our government actually gave a shit about the children it's supposed to be protecting by shitting on all my privacy then it would force google to sort its shit out.

      Government generally can't sort it's own affairs out, without asking it to decide fitness of non-illegal content. Moreover, government is a machine. Although nominally democratic, we all know that's very approximate, but more importantly in this context, government don't talk to, or listen to ordinary people. They are far too busy and important for that. So what they do listen to and react to is two malign forces - the press, particularly populist publications, and lobbyists, particularly well funded ones.

      So on the one hand (in the UK) you'll have the Daily Mail screaming about kids seeing p0rn, leading to the stupid reactions and daft ideas from the Home Office, and on the other hand you've got face to face contacts between officials and politicians and Google's and other tech's well oiled lobbying machines, all purring that no regulation is good regulation. So we have daft restrictions that won't work to protect kids from adult content, and will create additional stupid outcomes (like insisting adult sites use credit cards to validate age, and then keep records of that), but government believe the job is done.

      1. graeme leggett

        "you'll have the Daily Mail screaming about kids seeing p0rn"

        Meaning the mailonline website right hand sidebar ? "all grown up" "flaunts curves" "...stuns in a bikini..." "beach body.." "plunging dress" etc etc

        1. Jim 59

          "you'll have the Daily Mail screaming about kids seeing p0rn"

          Meaning the mailonline website right hand sidebar ? "all grown up" "flaunts curves" "...stuns in a bikini..." "beach body.." "plunging dress" etc etc

          Yes the Mail's juxstaposition is bazarre and rather tasteless. But the "beach body, plunging dress" etc, are all items you can see in public, unlike the pr0n.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "unlike the pr0n"

            Spend long enough on the mailonline sidebar and you'll get a "[celebs name] sex tape leaked on internet" type story.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      YouTube Kids actually got a pat on the back from the government, mentioned in the same breath as iPlayer Kids. It's at that point you do think that nothing's ever going to get done and you consider sending YouTube to the great /dev/null in the sky.

      At the moment I'm using every opportunity to get the fact that the Internet and especially YouTube are not reliable into mine because banning isn't a viable long-term solution. Yeah, thanks school for teaching eight year olds to how to type search requests into Google and YouTube. There's no "warning: anything could be disturbing or a pack of lies", not even "other search engines are available", just "here's how to drink kool-aid from the fountain of Google".

      1. LDS Silver badge

        "Yeah, thanks school for teaching eight year olds to how to type search requests into Google"

        Actually, teachers get money and other free stuff from Google to ensure that... it's probably time to stop it - not only Google, obviously - especially because we are no longer talking about products only - but information and thereby what people becomes trained to think.

    4. Allonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      This gets my Comment of The Week vote. It's only Wednesday, but nothing's going to top it for sheer bang-onitude.

    5. Jim 59

      incoming sweary rant, look away kids if offended.. pihole...emby...

      Blimey, AC, well done. But not all parents are so expert, and YouTube should sort this out. They can start by switching off the ludicrous "autoplay" (and stop it from defaulting to "on" all the time). An obvious cach grab by those who used to say "Don't be evil", but no feature is more likely to show your kids awful stuff or blow your download limits.

      YT could even censor kids stuff themselves. Actually watch and moderate every children's video. Publishing would be slowed but even a small team could build up a lot of content over time.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I didn't use PI, I just went in ADB and set all of those to resolve to 127.0.0.1 in the Host file.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Boffin

        I didn't use PI, I just went in ADB and set all of those to resolve to 127.0.0.1 in the Host file.

        Works until they learn about bootable USB sticks, or borrow their mates phone etc. At least with Pihole (or other) you can easily block both badverts and anything else you wish to never have appear on your network again.

        At least until the kids learn what the "Doesn't need service"1 settings are for.....

        (where possible, BIOS and system settings passwords are helpful - and if you can route several popular addresses like the for 8's one to an alternative IP (eg parentally monitored server) at the gateway level you can at least stop or slow some of their attempts. Only some mind, and as a bonus you become really adept at playing whack-a-mole..)

        1Ref BOFH.

    7. d3vy Silver badge

      Completely agree, my kids are a bit older and have been watching skate/BMX videos..

      Then some dick (Ryan Taylor) pops up on autoplay, seems ok to start.. then he's off to toys r us to "review" a BMX they are selling.. ok seems fine.

      The proceeds to buy, completely ruin and return the bike to toys r us for a refund claiming it as defective.

      Next video he's riding full pelt through a shopping centre full of people.

      The kids have been banned from watching him or similar videos.

      They are old enough to know that I can and do monitor what they access online so we have a bit of an honour system.. if they want to retain access to their phones, laptops and tablets they keep the content suitable..

    8. Tim Seventh

      " I have two young children 4 and 6... kids like mine they just re-enable it even though I've never let them see me disable it. I know, lets go one up and install an app lock, sure I'm getting smug now thinking, "get round that you smart arses", what happens next? Oh they just boot the tablet into safe mode."

      4 and 6 years old yet they can do that without being taught? Give them a computer quick! They will surely become the next technology founders very soon.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Tim Seventh

        I certainly intend to, just waiting for the right moment in their development (attention spans and interest)

        Oh and they are both girls who have been told from an early age that nothing is just a boy or a girl thing.

        Little sods also had it fired up in the browser and as such I can't leave my computer unlocked. Not complaining though.

  5. Wibble

    Is YouTube a publisher?

    If they were they'd be responsible for their content.

    Given that some content's been viewed more times than all episodes of "TellyTubbies" / whatever, maybe they are publishers?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is YouTube a publisher?

      No, it uses that content provider loophole.

  6. K Silver badge

    Wow..

    Reading the linked article is 15 minutes of my life I'll never get back!

    He does raise a few good point, but I think he'd be better off selecting the relevant videos, then taking the producers to task.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Wow..

      The last few videos in the Medium article show some stuff which a bit weird, but there's still plenty of rabbit hole to go down. Just search for "Investigating YouTube - #Elsagate" or "Something strange is happening on Youtube #ElsaGate", appropriately on YouTube.

      Preferably in a private browser window not at work. Those are just two videos which talk about what kind of sketchy stuff can be found but it's enough to screw up your YouTube recommendations, which is probably why the article wasn't just a page full of videos.

      Then arrange for the YouTube and YouTube Kids apps to 'break' or 'go away' on home devices.

    2. veti Silver badge

      Re: Wow..

      You can't "take the producers to task". In the first case, you can't find the buggers - if you try to email them, it's vanishingly unlikely your email will be read by a human. In the second place, the producers (in so far as there are humans behind the whole thing) are mostly unaware of what's going on. Most of this stuff is algorithmically generated, not creative.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Or parents could -and this is a radical concept - actually supervise their kids? The Internet is not your free babysitter.

    1. DF118

      Presumably you're one of those "guns don't kill people" people.

      1. Martin Summers Silver badge

        "Presumably you're one of those "guns don't kill people" people."

        If I smacked you over the head with a shovel and killed you should we ban shovels?

        (I picked shovel as I've just started playing Battlefield One (yes I know it's been out ages). It could be any choice of implement of course).

        1. LDS Silver badge

          It's quite hard to kill in a few minutes 28 or 59 person with a shovel, and people around have far better chances to stop you, especially because you need to be very close.

          It also require much more strength, and determination. Or even with a knife (and I will ban carrying knives around anyway, really no need today).

          Moreover shovels are usually far more useful than guns, and less comfortable to carry around.

          1. Martin Summers Silver badge

            @LDS

            I can still kill you with a shovel, does it matter how long it takes? So what's your point really?

            It really is people who kill people, it doesn't matter what they use to do it.

            1. Patrick R
              Mushroom

              Re: @LDS It really is people who kill people, it doesn't matter what they use to do it.

              So why should anybody make a fuss about Kim Jong Un getting nukes?

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: @LDS It really is people who kill people, it doesn't matter what they use to do it.

                Because he's increasingly looking like a cornered mouse. And you know what they say about cornered mice as well as people with nothing left to lose...

          2. Anonymous Noel Coward
            Trollface

            Try digging a hole for the body with a gun...

            1. hplasm Silver badge
              Happy

              "Try digging a hole for the body with a gun..."

              Maxim 44: If it will blow a hole in the ground, it will double as an entrenching tool.

              In other words: Your gun is too small.

              1. Khaptain Silver badge

                Re: "Try digging a hole for the body with a gun..."

                "It's quite hard to kill in a few minutes 28 or 59 person with a shovel, and people around have far better chances to stop you, especially because you need to be very close."

                Now if that shovel is attached to a large piece of Yellow Caterpillared Machinery, my shovel could do a lot of damage and on top of that is could provide me with protection.. The SWAT team are going to have a hard time taking me out.....

                Alternatively there have been several recent cases involving vehicles causing max damage in very little time...

                Guns are a means not a cause..

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: "Try digging a hole for the body with a gun..."

                  Lots of people have tried to cause "max damage" with a vehicle, but most of them have failed dismally.

                  Look at those jokers in Borough Market, London, for instance. Three guys in a van, striking a crowded and vulnerable area at night, managed to kill - seven. Viewed coldly as return on investment, that's - well, it's an utter failure. It's beyond pathetic.

                  Christmas Market attack in Berlin - 12 dead. Westminster - 4 dead. London Bridge attack - 8 dead. Finsbury Park - 8 injured, no dead. Dijon - 13 injured, no dead. Barcelona - a total of six terrorists manage to kill six civilians. Jerusalem - 4 dead. The only really spectacular success was Marseilles, and that looks increasingly like a fluke as more and more people try (and fail) to emulate it.

                  Compare with: Orlando - 49 dead. Sutherland Springs - 27 dead. Las Vegas - 59. And that's just in the last 2 years.

                  So yeah, the weapon does make a difference. If you disagree, please cite the number of people killed by mass rampagers with shovels in the last couple of years.

                  1. Martin Summers Silver badge

                    Re: "Try digging a hole for the body with a gun..."

                    "So yeah, the weapon does make a difference. If you disagree, please cite the number of people killed by mass rampagers with shovels in the last couple of years."

                    Rate of killing is not the subject here, it's whether guns kill people or whether people kill people. I didn't think Chinese whispers was possible when you can actually read what was said.

                  2. Charles 9 Silver badge

                    Re: "Try digging a hole for the body with a gun..."

                    "Compare with: Orlando - 49 dead. Sutherland Springs - 27 dead. Las Vegas - 59. And that's just in the last 2 years."

                    How about Bath Township? 40 dead, guns not directly involved. Oklahoma City, ~150 dead, no guns involved at all, 9/11 ~3000 dead no guns involved. Plus I'm pretty sure the British can still remember The Troubles which had plenty of non-gun fatalities.

                    It's scarily easily to cause mayhem without a gun, and if you're someone like a farmer, everything you need can be obtained legally and below suspicion.

            2. Kiwi Silver badge
              Mushroom

              Try digging a hole for the body with a gun...

              Sure. Easy to do.

              Reminds me, I haven't tested my Howitzer in a while....

          3. Chris G Silver badge

            "(and I will ban carrying knives around anyway, really no need today)."

            For you perhaps, I have had a pocket knife in my pocket since I was a kid, a knife is one of the most basic tools and has hundreds of uses. Oddly I have never wanted or neede to stab anyone. The lack of the right kind of education and the way the media deals with knives I think makes them more desirable to the kind of kids who carry them, a walking stick is actually a better weapon and potentially more dangerous than a knife.

            As for shovels; they are just so Norman Bates, plus an alloy baseball bat makes a more satisfying bonngg!

        2. Martin Summers Silver badge

          Downvotes like I'm some gun crazed obsessive :-) I think the world would be better off without the kind of people who would happily illegally kill anyone with anything. If they haven't got a gun they will find something else to do the job. Hence it's not the gun that kills people.

          1. M man

            apparently not

            https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/10/gun-waiting-periods-could-save-hundreds-lives-year-study-says

  8. Blotto Bronze badge
    FAIL

    Happy tree friends

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Tree_Friends

    this is all just like Happy Tree Friends but instead of being aimed at adults its being distributed on a kids entertainment platform.

    Google really must do better.

    Non of us want a restricted web, but a platform that is meant to be restricted to content suitable to young eyes is willingly distributing disturbing content designed for adults.

    Google or someone needs to come up with an alternative where kids can be safe online.

    I know its a slippery slope, but maybe something like AOL or compuserve where things are curated for free or a small fee.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Happy tree friends

      Happy tree friends

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Tree_Friends

      this is all just like Happy Tree Friends but instead of being aimed at adults its being distributed on a kids entertainment platform.

      If you are not familiar with cult adult animation, you might be forgiven for passing over this one based on the title....

      Reminds me of an episode of 'Bottom' where Eddie is disappointed in 'Furry Honeypot adventures' for seemingly the reverse reason.

      1. frank ly Silver badge

        Re: Happy tree friends

        I've just watched my first episode of Happy Tree Friends on YouTube. Thank you :)

  9. theOtherJT

    When I were a lad...

    ...There was a long and detailed discussion between my parents and myself regarding the pros and cons of allowing me to have a VHS recorder and a TV in my bedroom.*

    It was made clear to me at the time that this was a privilege and one that would be revoked if abused. If I was caught taping late night "adult" TV, the thing would be taken away. My parents wouldn't even contemplate letting me have the damn thing until they thought I was old enough to understand the restriction, and sensible enough to honour the rules we agreed on.

    I believe this to be called "parenting" and you don't leave your children unsupervised with something until you're certain that they understand what it is, what it isn't, and what uses of it will be accepted.

    So, yeah, Youtube is full of surreal garbage not to mention quite deliberately offensive content. Don't leave kids alone with that until you think they're old enough to be able to tell the difference and act accordingly.

    *Which of course dates me somewhat.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: When I were a lad...

      One must not record tutti frutti off rtl.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: When I were a lad...

      Yes but no but...

      There's some good stuff for kids on YouTube. But my children haven't been left unsupervised with it precisely because there's so much dodgy crap.

      The problem I find is, "supervision" can't really mean standing over their shoulder the whole time. Sometimes you need to cook dinner, answer the phone, take a dump etc. Now YouTube videos can be quite short (or maybe I need to eat more fibre) so they're onto the next one in the playlist before you can say "Peppa torture porn". More than once I've left them alone for a few minutes and come back to find something less wholesome (or just out-and-out stupid, not necessarily even offensive) playing.

      So my personal controls are probably getting tighter over time. Eventually I'll probably end up blacklisting the whole thing and putting in an Emby server or something.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: When I were a lad...

        Can't you just lock your children in a filing cabinet when you're not there? It worked for Chris Morris in Brass Eye...

        Also, if you're really lucky, they might grow up to be Hong Kong Phooey.

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

          Re: When I were a lad...

          "Can't you just lock your children in a filing cabinet when you're not there?"

          And would that filing cabinet be located in a disused lavatory in the cellar?

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: When I were a lad...

            "Can't you just lock your children in a filing cabinet when you're not there?"

            And would that filing cabinet be located in a disused lavatory in the cellar?

            No, because that would make it, by definition, a used lavatory.

            I know I know, I'm outta here..

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: When I were a lad...

        Eventually I'll probably end up blacklisting the whole thing and putting in an Emby server or something.

        By then the 'kids' will probably be at university...

        That's the problem with parental controls, they aren't static. A set that works when the kids are at infants school, don't when they go to secondary and most certainly don't work when they become fully fledged teenagers...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Youtube doesn't care - it's just about the Ad revenue

    Youtube doesn't care if it's kids or bots watching the videos. Its about selling advertising in and around the content, that others are stupid enough to provide for free.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Uh huh

    It's not about trolls, but about a kind of violence inherent in the combination of digital systems and capitalist incentives.

    Now just calm down, comrade.

    1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

      Re: Uh huh

      Obligatory Monty Python Link (and, for good measure, on YouTube too):

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvKIWjnEPNY

    2. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Re: Uh huh

      But it is. Any system set up will be abused. Just because they point out the specific kind of abouse this system is prone to, is not a problem.

      Thinking any other system is "better" than the other may be. It's tools for fools, and everything has a use, everything has some form of abuse. Unless we propose a perfect system (and in this case of "video delivery" which I don't think we have!).

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Uh huh

        The perfect video delivery system is impossible for the simple reason of "To Each His Own." What's prurient to one person may be passé to the next. You simply can't please everyone, and the moment you DISplease someone there will be complaints.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh, look, parents are passing the buck again...

    If parents don't want their children seeing unsuitable stuff then maybe they could, you know, do their jobs as parents.

    Don't like the idea of having to watch your children all the time?

    Tough.

    You fucked somebody; you had children. It's your job to be patient.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh, look, parents are passing the buck again...

      You clearly have never had kids and clearly you will never have kids.

      Let me put it this way.

      The world we live in now is not all about toys, dolls and board games so guess what? kids like to use tablets and phones. As a parent how would you tell your child they can't use them even though all their friends are? are you Amish or something?

      Do you think a parent should sit on the shoulder of their child all their life? Do you even know about a how a child develops using play?

      Here's a free bit of advice, don't comment on something you clearly don't understand or know about.

      1. Anonymous Noel Coward

        Re: Oh, look, parents are passing the buck again...

        As a parent how would you tell your child they can't use them even though all their friends are?

        Grow a spine, will you.

        1. d3vy Silver badge

          Re: Oh, look, parents are passing the buck again...

          "As a parent how would you tell your child they can't use them even though all their friends are?

          Grow a spine, will you."

          Look at it the other way... Shouldn't we be able to trust a service marketed as safe for kids to be.. *Safe for kids*?

          There is plenty of decent, entertaining (even sneakily educational) content on there that I wouldn't consider banning all access to it... But at the same time I have other things to do other than watching every second of my kids lives... For instance someone needs to cook their food and iron their school uniforms so there's LITERALLY no way that I can monitor 100% of the content that they are consuming - as I have said in a separate comment my kids are older now so we work a kind of honour system where Ill spot check the logs on their machines/router and the windows service that I wrote (that they dont know about) that sits on their laptops taking screen shots periodically and uploading the images to the NAS for later review.

          Going back to my original point, this is a service that is being aimed at children, we should have a reasonable expectation that the content available is suitable for children - I'd be pretty fucked off if peppa started swearing on cbeebies... so I think I have the right to be equally fucked off when she starts doing it on youtube kids.

      2. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: Oh, look, parents are passing the buck again...

        As a parent, decisions were made about what content and when it could be accessed by a child, so no PC / tablet of their own at a young age, shared family computer / tablet use only when young (and in area of house where no privacy as we would be in and out so no getting away with sneaky views of iffy content).

        No TV in kids room either.

        Its not impossible, and does not take much extra parenting effort, it may be "easy" to leave kids unattended watching any old crap, but it's not good.

      3. Tim Seventh
        Trollface

        Re: Oh, look, parents are passing the buck again...

        "The world we live in now is not all about toys, dolls and board games so guess what? kids like to use tablets and phones. As a parent how would you tell your child they can't use them even though all their friends are?"

        Yes I would tell them they can't use them, and sucks to be them. see icon ->

        For real? What kind of first world problem is this? Third world countries can't even afford tablets / phones for every kids in the room, and yet they still raised kids. It's your money, your savings. You have the say.

        I know I am being mean, but if they really want it I would make them work for it. Let them help you mow the lawn, wash your car, clean the floor, fold the cloths, or prepare the dinner. It's a much better child labor development than giving to them for free. Not to mention, it gives them a feel of responsibility, product value and minimum wage.

        Oh wait your kids are <6 years old and can't do any work?... Sucks to be them.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Oh, look, parents are passing the buck again...

      "Don't like the idea of having to watch your children all the time?"

      See this is the problem, you're sat there thinking, 'well, sure it's tough, but I'm sure I could do it', without thinking through the implications of all the time. ie it's not uncommon for new parents to go at least week without a shower, because they can't take the two minutes away from the kid to do so.

      So, when you, AC, have spent three weeks with no more than an hour of uninterrupted sleep at any one point, lets see how high and mighty you are about keeping your kid off a phone when you realise that just one cebeebies cartoon will allow you to have the first shit on your own you've had for weeks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh, look, parents are passing the buck again...

        @phuzz

        I'm the second AC.

        Been there done that...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We have a constant battle with this. Not just YouTube but Vimeo and others as well.

    Schools and teachers call up to demand (deliberate word) access to Youtube. They don't want to know that there is bad content on there too. Kids must learn donchaknow!

    Ask them to accept the risks on this and they go all Amber Rudd and demand that you block all the 'bad' stuff with the electric magic in the filters.

    We used to be able to do a bit. then Google put everything HTTPS (yes we can do a MITM certificate interception but that overhead is hard on the box and "wot about our libertees"). Then google shut Youtube Education.

    Vimeo at least honestly doesn't make any pretence over censorship but it means we can't let kids near the site.

    Yet then we have various charities and government agencies publishing their "must have" content on Vimeo and the teacher screaming again that they must have it and have it without any risk.

    Everyone passing the buck. Sometimes censorship and filtering is needed. Unless you're happy with your kids being served up pr0n and violence in school by the school.

    1. ridley

      Then set up a GSUITE account, force signon to your GSUITE domain, and then limit the Youtube videos to those authorised by teachers/it admin etc. Plus block all but authorised extensions and apps.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Then set up a GSUITE account, force signon to your GSUITE domain,"

        So you'll need to pay Google to stop its shit? And how do you force a sign on? Besides the fact this gives Google even more control over your activities?

        1. ridley

          Re: "Then set up a GSUITE account, force signon to your GSUITE domain,"

          AC was indicating that the users wanting filtering were teacher/schools. For a school GSUITE is free.

          Just how do you expect to access Youtube without involving Google?

          Chrome will shortly allow you to force a signin and group policies etc will only allow one domain. Securely will only allow internet access from a school computer if your are logged into Chrome via a school GSuite Domain.

          Of course, this is all MUCH easier if the school uses GSFE and Chromebooks to secure the access.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "AC was indicating that the users wanting filtering were teacher/schools. "

            But the issue is what kids do at home - and I won't let kids use Chrome so all their activities are also funneled to Google, nor pay any money to Google for it - and it's funny how people who loathed IE for the MS lock-in years ago, are very happy with the Chrome lock-in - which is much worse, because it's not about software, it's about data pulled from users, and information pushed to users.

            And sure forcing schools to use any Google products makes much easier for Google to ensure the lock-in - but it's a dreadful idea - I would challenge any school that would force my kids to use the slurping and brainwashing Google tools for education.

            While there's no need to access YouTube - you can still access it with minimal interaction with Google. If Google is unwillingly to policy its contents because money is money, it can be utterly blocked.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      And for platforms which you can't admin, download it and put it on an internal file server.

    3. Diogenes

      EDpuzzle ?

      Schools and teachers call up to demand (deliberate word) access to Youtube

      Have a look at EdPuzzle*. I am using it to get around the youtube block imposed by the Great Firewall of Redfern. Its also handy for extracting that 2-5 minutes of useful explanation out of a crappy 15 minute film, and best part is it strips out all the advertising (pre roll, pop ups and mid roll) . Works on Vimeo as well. It also integrates with GSuite for Ed.

      *no affiliation, just a happy user

      1. ridley

        Re: EDpuzzle ?

        I too love EdPuzzle, as did my students, but since my MS based school has banned & blocked Youtube then EdPuzzle will not work either as their videos are hosted on Youtube.

        The only way around it is to copy the Youtube vid and then upload it to EdPuzzle but as that is likely to break copyright then I am unwilling to do that.

        Knowing the control and opportunities that are available when using GSuite I for one would give my eye teeth to be a Google School. This is a view that is purely a view as an educationalist.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks for this...

    My 9yo daughter often watches the You Tube Kids App (as opposed to plain you tube) in her 1hr of screen time. I think most of what she watches is nauseating American tweens 'reacting' to gummi bears and similar drivel, but I did assume that it was a bit more carefully curated - why else launch a specific kids app? I'll be looking a bit more closely and checking her history now...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thanks for this...

      The problem isn't the history.

      Lets say she watches a video about shimmer and shine (probably a bit young for a 9yo, I'm guessing more henry danger) then someone posts an inappropriate video with the same flags and name. Lots of kids click the link and watch which then moves the video up and up in the rankings until eventually your kid see's it.

      Something once seen can't be unseen.

      Do not trust you tube kids and I am speaking from the experience of checking it myself and what it can access.

    2. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: Thanks for this...

      If she is into that kind of thing then a good safe channel is FamilyFunPack.

      Its a normal *large* family basically documenting their lives - all super kid friendly not even a hint of swearing, kids seem to love it and they post a video a day so if your limiting screen time theres a good chance that she could use her whole allotment watching their videos!

      If she is into gaming (read minecraft) then StampyLongnose is a decent one to follow, along with DanTDM and WizzardKeen - Bonus WK also does some fairly good animated story videos which sneak some education in there - my kids thought they were watching a wizard solve some puzzles to navigate a magical world... in reality they learned the proper order of operations. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoU2-SLVxC8

  15. S4qFBxkFFg

    I think my "Fuck 2017" moment was sitting on the couch while my daughter watched youtube on the TV - distracted due to the repetitive canned shrieks and laughter, I glanced up to see a live-action story involving Elsa, Spiderman, the Joker, and probably others I forget. At that particular moment, one of the characters (Spiderman perhaps?) was buried up to their neck in sand, while being defecated on by Elsa (again, it may have been another character). A small mercy - it was obviously fake brown stuff of some sort. Out of morbid curiosity, I continued watching these videos, and can mostly agree with everything the writer of the linked article says.

    I do not let her have the remote, and the TV itself is on the wall, out of reach - this was just from autoplay, the chain started on a toy review or something.

    That was the end of her youtube viewing, netflix seems to be OK (so far).

  16. chivo243 Silver badge
    Meh

    Minecraft!

    My son watches Minecraft videos to get new ideas, but I've found a few of them to have more than subtle innuendo. Some of them are just downright teenagerish and not suitable for children. I would get more specific...

    1. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: Minecraft!

      There needs to be a way to white list channels.

      DanTDM, StampyLongnose, NettyPlays, TommoHawk, WizzardKeen etc are all great if your kids are into minecraft - they are kid friendly, age appropriate and in some cases educational, but the auto play will eventually lead your kids to some crap if they're not careful.

      It should be fairly simple to put something in the app that says "You can only watch videos from these uploaders" and a parental pin for anything else... Obviously then the kids could just open chrome/firefox/ie/use a different device - but it would be a start!

      My kids are old enough to have access to these things but young enough that I still configure their devices and monitor what they do (retrospectively via logs), so to add a whitelist and set a pin on the youtube app could just become part of the set up process for new devices.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Minecraft!

        >There needs to be a way to white list channels.

        The issue with the various minecraft channels, including some listed is the language!

        I recommend not letting your kids have earbuds/headphones as that way you will also hear what they are listening to. This enabled me to very quickly identify the source of certain styles of speech my son started using - he was adopting the manner of speech seen on his favourite Minecraft channels. Now several years later, when he is gaming with his mates, those speech mannerisms are still recognisable...

        1. d3vy Silver badge

          Re: Minecraft!

          When you say "language" what exactly do you mean - I've sat with the kids and not heard anything worse than a bugger or an occasional crap *

          I don't like the kids using earbuds anyway as I was a bit daft with loud music when I was younger and now have a slight ringing in my ears ALL THE BLOODY TIME! so they only use headphones when absolutely needed (ie when out an about or in a noisy environment)

          To be honest the language isn't my main concern now anyway as my kids are older and know not to repeat some things that they hear (Which is probably a good thing as I often listen to DMX, NIN, Tool etc when driving and really don't need the them going to school singing any of that!).

          Anyway, it all goes back to the white list idea, if you whitelist a channel for your kids to view and then change your mind you can remove it from the whitelist. So it NettyPlays decides to darken up a bit and start swearing then you can remove her channel from the list.

          * Ill grant you a few of the earlier videos before they realised their main demographic was kids might have been a bit worse, but generally they are pretty good at self censoring.

      2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: Minecraft!

        It should be fairly simple to put something in the app that says "You can only watch videos from these uploaders" and a parental pin for anything else... Obviously then the kids could just open chrome/firefox/ie/use a different device - but it would be a start!

        There's a couple problems there. First, you would have to configure the app on each device and app. Also, there are devices that will never see this level of configuration in any case (game consoles, Roku, etc).

        There's why I want the ability to blacklist at the YT profile itself (but that would require Google to have competent programmers). And I don't even mind if these were blocked on my own profile (which is how I have our devices set up) because just as I don't want my daughter watching this dumbass cruft, I also don't want to watch it myself. (but I'll whitelist all the Miku videos for her, taht would serve her right for not cleaning her room...)

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Minecraft!

      If only it were the language. Stuff on the MangoTango channel (available on YouTube Kids) usually turns into ritual sacrifice by the end of the video.

  17. Ian Emery Silver badge

    YT kids is like concentrated nastiness

    I naively tried it for my then 2 y/o daughter, and there was some really nasty stuff showing up that was unsuitable for anyone under 18, even stuff about body dismemberment and extreme violence. There were more nasty videos than things suitable for a child to watch!!!

    I immediately removed the app from her tablet.

    Normal YT is still has lots of nastiness, but the percentage is far less; I have been letting her use YT since she was 3 1/2, and she is nearly 5, and only once have I had to intervene and say "no, it isnt suitable for you".

    There are a lot of good providers of educational, and entertainment value - apart from the TV show rips; but far too much mashed together crap drowning it out.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: YT kids is like concentrated nastiness

      I think they've realised how to game YouTube Kids, a verified account and a few family friendly keywords seem to get past Google's algorithms. Then it's up to parents flagging individual videos if they realise their child has seen something strange, Google may or may not remove it, and if it's removed it doesn't matter as it's re-uploaded as soon as it's removed. That's how crap like this never disappears.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: YT kids is like concentrated nastiness

      I naively tried it for my then 2 y/o daughter,

      ...

      I immediately removed the app from her tablet.

      Sorry, but do have to question your parenting style, personally I don't see any benefits (to the child) of giving a tablet to a pre-school child other than keeping them quiet while a lazy parent can ignore them.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Parents...

    Please put your phones down, ignore social media and take responsibility for your children's upbringing. Stop blaming others for your own deficiencies, and stop being passive consumers of anything that comes along. This is what previous generations did. Feel you can't cope? Feel victimised? Feel triggered? Well grow a pair, because you have no choice. You decided to bring a child into the world: it's not a Tamagotchi (google it, Millennials).

    Yours,

    The Rest of Humanity.

    1. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: Dear Parents...

      "Please put your phones down, ignore social media and take responsibility for your children's upbringing. Stop blaming others for your own deficiencies, and stop being passive consumers of anything that comes along. This is what previous generations did. Feel you can't cope? Feel victimised? Feel triggered? Well grow a pair, because you have no choice. You decided to bring a child into the world: it's not a Tamagotchi (google it, Millennials)."

      Maybe you are missing this : Its a service *aimed at kids* parents can not (and should not) monitor their kids 24/7. Letting kids access Youtube Kids is no different from kids in the 70s being plonked down to watch pinky and perky while mum did the dishes/made tea/had a natter with the next door neighbour. The difference of course is that you could trust the content provider (TV) not to start pumping out the "uncle fucker" song from South Park when bill and ben finally said Flobadob and the credits rolled.

      From what you have written I assume that you don't have kids, if you did you would know that they cant be monitored 24/7 and grow up to be healthy well adjusted adults. I cant imagine that your parents monitored your every move? I certainly don't know a single parent who would claim (or want) to have that level of control over their kids.. but I know the majority would admit freely that sometimes you just need the kids to be distracted for a while so you can do something else (Cook/Clean/Have a poo) and TV/Tablet etc is the most common way to do that - which goes back to the original point, its a service aimed at kids, we should be able to trust that its content is child appropriate.

      With regards "ignore social media and take responsibility for your children's upbringing" :

      Kids need to be given boundaries, but they also need the freedom to push against those boundaries how else do you expect them to learn? This is why I dont filter anything that the kids have access to - but they know that I can see what they are doing and they know that if they break the rules there are consequences, they learned quite quickly that the average time for me to spot something dodgy is < 5 days... unless they have become masters at covering their tracks they are being *very* careful about what they view online. *

      PS. A millennial is someone reaching adulthood in the early 20th century... thats basically anyone born after 1980... the majority will know what a bloody Tamagotchi is.

      * if they have become masters at covering their tracks then Ill still consider this a win as they have managed to self educate themselves.. probably by watching youtube videos!

      1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: Dear Parents...

        From what you have written I assume that you don't have kids, if you did you would know that they cant be monitored 24/7 and grow up to be healthy well adjusted adults.

        Exactly this. These days I'm looking at various ways to give my daughter more self-responsibility and getting her to gain more self-reliance. Especially since I was 46 when she was born, so I may not be around for that long once she's an adult. So it's time to *appear* to have faded into the background, while directing her viewing habits to something more productive.

        YT isn't the only thing with this; when we first got Netflix streaming it didn't have individual profiles, and the first thing she brought up was the Witchblade anime on the watch list (had to jump up and redirect her quickly on that one). Would like it if Crunchyroll would implement that as well so I could set her up with an appropriate watch queue (and also be able to watch the same show at my own pace if we happen to watch the same one).

        It isn't about parents refusing to take responsibility; rather it's that we want MORE ability to adjust what is or isn't available, and Google seem to be unwilling or unable to implement this.

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Dear Parents...

      "Well grow a pair, because you have no choice. You decided to bring a child into the world: it's not a Tamagotchi (google it, Millennials)."

      Don't be so sure. What if the child is the product of a rape, the father is dead, and the mother has been ostracized by family and ignored by government? Don't laugh. It actually happens. Are you saying it's just Tough Luck for these mothers?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Outraged parents are missing their favourite reality TV freak-show because of this!

    1. d3vy Silver badge

      Why are all of the comments like this anonymous?

      I suspect I know...

  20. imanidiot Silver badge

    Youtube in general is shit

    Youtube have screwed over their recommendation algorithms so much that even the good and reliable content has been disappearing. It's algorithms and reward mechanisms do not reward quality but pretty much only quality. Don't upload a 2, 6 or 19 minute video? No recommendations for your videos. Don't upload a new video at least every week on a regular schedule? No recommendations for you. This goes on and on. Just search youtube itself and you'll find Youtube has been royally pissing off real content providers for the last 2 years or so. Making things worse and worse for the true educational channels or those with worthwhile content, and easier and easier for the content spamming bots.

    It's no surprise they can't get a handle on YT Kids then either. A simple first step would be to limit upload rates to 1 per day for YT Kids. Word salad titles should not be that hard to find, natural language filters exist. If they are found, ban the channel and any IP adress associated with it. It won't be possible to stop this completely, but stop the revenue of the automated spam uploaders and things will decay.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Youtube in general is shit

      Gahh....

      Do not reward quality but pretty much only quantity.

  21. The_H

    It's not easy. I tried blocking as many of the sites as I could at router level, which worked a treat until one of my dear 15yr-old's friends showed her what hidemyass.com could do about that little ruse. We went through a spell of confiscating all tablets, smartphones etc (gave her a crappy old Nokia for emergencies) but unless you confiscate all their friends' tablets then they're still going to see stuff at school etc.

    Last straw for me was just the other week, youngest (13) was sitting next to me watching some crap American dance thing on YT. Clearly not legit (picture messed with and sound fuzzed to get around content ID) but otherwise safe - until about 20 mins in and it changed to footage of a cat being doused in petrol and set on fire. Yeah, the real thing. She's still not in a good place after that.

    Someone needs to realise that despite the lawyers' weasel words, YouTube ARE PUBLISHERS. The individual uploading a video doesn't do anything to put it on my screen. YouTube store it, index it, archive it, distribute it to servers around the world, curate it into "Mix" collections, recommend it "for me" and stream it wrapped in adverts (or so I'm told... but then I use Adblock). If that's not publishing then I don't know what is.

  22. juice Bronze badge

    What's happening here...

    Is the production of automated junk to try and game automated filtering mechanisms and earn money.

    In other words, it's spam. Exactly the same spam as you find in email, search-engine results, App Stores and the like. The only real difference in this context is that we're dealing with consumers (aka children) who generally don't have the ability to determine the difference, and content which previously used to only be available from curated sources. Whether that was a parent picking a book from a shelf, or a media provider such as the BBC.

    As such, the solution is implicit in the stated problem: if you're concerned about uncurated content, then don't use services such as Youtube in their "raw" format. Instead, use curated content from places such as the BBC. Even if that does mean *shock* paying for the service!

    Equally, it sounds like there's a relatively easy solution for Youtube which would allow them to keep balancing on the increasingly thin line between hosting content and publishing it: give content channels the option to only allow the automated "next" mechanism to pick from content within the channel.

    At that point, it's still the responsibility of the content channel to ensure all content is suitable for the given audience. And there's some potential for a mechanism like this to be abused. And of course, it potentially reduces profits for Google, since they can't pick the "best" option for the next video.

    Then too, whatever Youtube and Google do, it's still fundamentally the parent's responsibility to ensure that they've picked content which is appropriate for their personal/family/religious/societal preferences and rules.

  23. Shaha Alam

    i dont get how any of this makes money.

    who's clicking the ads? are they buying something? which companies are paying for ads where no customer clicks through? who would bother producing shit content when no advertiser is willing to advertise because no customers click through?

    which advertising platform would survive if advertisers decided their adverts were being pointlessly shown to minors who have no potential to click through and 'convert' into a customer?

    am i missing something here?

    1. mark l 2 Silver badge

      "who's clicking the ads? are they buying something? which companies are paying for ads where no customer clicks through? who would bother producing shit content when no advertiser is willing to advertise because no customers click through? "

      There are 2 types of ads pay per click and pay per thousand views. So Youtube channel owners can make money on a video even if no one ever clicks on the ad as long as they get enough viewers to the video. Rates are around $2- $4 for every 1000 views of the ad. So if you upload a video and get say 100000 views that could net you $200 - $400. Now multiply this by 100s of videos that get uploaded to these channel and your into the tens of thousand dollars earning without ever having an ad clicked on.

  24. Claptrap314 Bronze badge
    Facepalm

    You let your kid play on the information superhighway?

    I had this conversation with a libertarian-leaning Catholic in 1994. The internet has NEVER been safe for children, and it cannot be made so. I'm not just talking about the gay nazi dating sites. I'm talking about things like SilverDove--"Sharing the love of Jesus Christ with Catholics". I kept my kids off the net for as long as I could. Eventually, I gave in and allowed access to a supposedly conservative kids writers site. I got to have "the talk" less than six months later. I suppose if I had believed my own warnings, I would have had the talk before letting her on.

  25. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    People seem to think this is a unexpected consequence of YT's ad model.

    Wrong.

    It's an un bothered consequence of YT's add model.

    The clickbait gets clicked on.

    The advertisers pay YT.

    They pay the "creators."

    IOW they don't give a f**k what's being shown or who it's being shown to, just that a lot of people are looking at it.

    AFA YT is concerned it's working just fine.

    Now if any of that material was copyright and the owners said "WTF, where's my share, this ain't fair use" maybe that would change.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: People seem to think this is a unexpected consequence of YT's ad model.

      A lot of this material involves characters who are definitely protected by copyright rights that are, as a rule, quite brutally enforced. Some of the more popular ones include: Spiderman, Paw Patrol, Elsa (Frozen, i.e. Disney), Cars (Disney again).

      But it's whack-a-mole for them. Even Disney's lawyer team can't cope with the sheer rate at which this crap floods onto YouTube. There are lots of "Elsa" videos that really are fair use, so you can't just ban them all.

      So I don't think this is the answer at all. If that particular mechanism were going to work, it would have been triggered already.

      1. d3vy Silver badge

        Re: People seem to think this is a unexpected consequence of YT's ad model.

        The only way to have a service like youtube kids be completely safe is for the content to be reviewed *by a human* before publishing.

        Obviously thats not cheap.. it also means that the rate of content being added to the site will be lower as the review process would slow things down BUT volunteer reviewers might be a possibility - the number of people that admin wikipedia for free is staggering.. there must be a way for YT to mobilise a small army of people to review content for YT kids.. Become a YT kids reviewer and review 20 videos a month to receive an extra 100GB cloud storage... or similar.. Play store vouchers would also do it.. or free youtube red accounts if you review 50 videos a month.. something like that.

        Im not saying for a second that any of my suggestions above would work.. but from my standpoint the only reliable way to manage this is reviews by humans and incentivising people to do this for free is realistically the only way that I can see to do this economically.

        1. Claptrap314 Bronze badge
          Stop

          Re: People seem to think this is a unexpected consequence of YT's ad model.

          > The only way to have a service like youtube kids be completely safe is for the content to be reviewed *by a human* before publishing.

          Nope, sorry. The Silver Dove stuff most definitely was reviewed by a human. What you might think is acceptable for my children could be quite unrelated to what I think is acceptable.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: People seem to think this is a unexpected consequence of YT's ad model.

            "Nope, sorry. The Silver Dove stuff most definitely was reviewed by a human. What you might think is acceptable for my children could be quite unrelated to what I think is acceptable."

            Then if you can't trust anyone else to curate content, then your ONLY choice is to do it YOURSELF. If you don't have the time, then you have to MAKE time or you'll be at a loss because you're forced to either fort up or cut loose. And the older the child, the greater the odds he or she will find a way to escape.

            1. Claptrap314 Bronze badge

              Re: People seem to think this is a unexpected consequence of YT's ad model.

              You tell me to curate yourself (which we did so long as we could), and you slam the others for doing so. You might be productive here if your position wasn't "up yours".

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    leaving kids with unattended internet access?

    No wonder they all appear to be drugged...

  27. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    Funnel & such

    I would *love* for YoTube to make it possible to block entire channels *at their end*. Sure, there are ways to block viseos through GoogleChrome extensions, and maybe minimal capabilities if you can make an android tablet *only* run YT Kids (and block the Google-forced full-YT app). But that's no help with the PS3, Wii-U or Roku. There are far too many stupid channels like FunnelVision, along with a lot of the "game play" channels that I would like to banish to the netherworld, but being able to block them ever being seen would be a good second option.

    When people request the feature, YT/Google will spout various excuses and unwanted parenting tips (actually, we *are* trying to monitor/restrict our kids' viewing, *THAT'S* why we want to be able to block channels, dimwits). And we know when Google expends this much time meking excuses, it *really* means they are too technologically incompetent to actually do the programming.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not just videos but "games" as well

    I got sucked into a rabbit hole checking out programs in the "Games" section on the full DVD version of Knoppix Linux and other OS's.

  29. SisterClamp
    Mushroom

    Oh no, a Mummy rant!

    My youngest just finished her (I)GCSEs, so I'm not toooo far distant from this. I worked, I breastfed, Hubby & I watched Christian evangelicals at 3am on workdays (foreign country, no grandparents, no babysitters, no other help) because Blessed Child #1 had chronic colic for months. I feel your pain. In no particular order:

    (1) Back in our day (and before), chums, the cartoons were pretty suggestive as well, with Sylvester the Cat after all kinds of curvy female felines, not to mention Pepe LePeu (sp), so this is not a new problem.

    (2) If you think video is bad, try buying clothes for a young girl without making her look like a slut.

    (3) The real issue here is communication. Communicate with your child CONSTANTLY and you have a chance of dodging this mess, regardless of what they watch. Ours went through a very scary SlenderMan episode ::eye-roll:: not to mention the stuff on creepypasta, so you're not going to catch it all, but they need to know they can come to you with their problems, and they can't do that if you don't COMMUNICATE with them. Which means...

    (4) Switch off the damned wireless throughout your house. Carry wired to your work machines and make it obvious that wireless is a privilege to be rationed out. Because...

    (5) If the kids see inappropriate stuff at **home**, they're going to assume it's okay because YOU are the Home Authority. If they see it outside, there's no obvious parental imprimatur, so they're not going to be so receptive.

    (6) Buy/download/save videos that you think are okay and have them on a USB stick that the kids can access while the wireless is OFF. Our kids learnt drawing, painting, yes even f**king opera with the wifi off. If you at least acknowledge their presence every now and then /sarc they will work with you and not think you're some irrelevant old fart.

    Right now, your kids have the same degree of respect for you as you would have for a boss who sits you in front of a screen watching badly-written, derivative, angst-ridden, emotionally immature post-apocalyptic generational in-fighting films for hours every day. Without pay. Think about it.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Oh no, a Mummy rant!

      Trouble is, there are times when the kid is smarter than you. Turn off the WiFI? They find a way to turn it on themselves or fashion their own network. It was like that with V-Chip TVs and VCRs. Guess who knew how to program those when the parents didn't? I know it was like that in MY day.

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