The disturbing YouTube videos that are tricking children

Article from BBC Trending.

We posted this on our Facebook Page and the response was alarming (not surprisingly).We had written before about YouTube Kids  for the safety of your children, because as parents we all use Youtube at some point.

Thousands of videos on YouTube look like versions of popular cartoons but contain disturbing and inappropriate content not suitable for children.

If you’re not paying much attention, it might look like an ordinary video featuring Peppa Pig, the cheeky porcine star of her own animated series. But soon after pressing play on this particular YouTube clip, the plot turns dark. A dentist with a huge syringe appears. Peppa’s teeth get pulled out. Distressed crying can be heard on the soundtrack.

Parent and journalist Laura June almost immediately noticed something was not quite right as her three-year-old daughter was watching it.

“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. She wrote about her experiences on the website The Outline.

“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.'”

It’s far from an isolated case – BBC Trending has found hundreds of similar videos of children’s cartoon characters with inappropriate themes. In addition to Peppa Pig, there are similar videos featuring characters from the Disney movie Frozen, the Minions franchise, Doc McStuffins, Thomas the Tank Engine, and many more.

Some of the videos are parodies or have such over-the-top content that they’re clearly meant for mature audiences. Others are unauthorised copies of authentic cartoons or use the characters in innocent ways – troubling to copyright lawyers perhaps, but not necessarily harmful to children.

Watch the vide below to find out more.

 

How to avoid inappropriate videos on YouTube

• The YouTube Kids app filters out most – but not all – of the disturbing videos.

• YouTube suggests turning on “restricted mode” which can be found at the bottom of YouTube pages

Also read our safety tips here.