YouTube directors are going to have a hard time explaining this one.
A Florida mother, who’s also a pediatrician and blogger, has shed light on some disturbing content on YouTube. The popular platform is under fire for hosting a video fashioned to teach children how to commit suicide.
Dr. Free Hess first learned about the video held on YouTube Kids (the same version, but kid-friendly) about seven months ago through a concerned parent. The clip was reported but remained for months. When it was finally removed, two more returned on the main YouTube site.
A spliced visual appeared in a video game called, “Splatoon” by Nintendo. According to Dr. Hess, it only took four minutes for a man to appear to offer advice on how to properly kill yourself. With disturbing words of wisdom like, “Kids, remember, cut this way for attention, and this way for results.” However, there’s no explanation as to why the video was ignored for so long.
Free’s Pedimom blog described her encounter with the sick production.
“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. What did I just see? Did I really just see that? I immediately turned off the video. My son’s nose stopped bleeding, and I further investigated the video in private while he went to play. I watched it again, certain that I had dreamt it up. I know YouTube had some sick videos, but I thought YouTube Kids was safe. They sure make it seem like it is.”
YouTube’s response was simply put, “We work to ensure the videos in YouTube Kids are family-friendly and take feedback very seriously.”
Hess’ professional opinion leans on the parents to step up against the “disconnect what kids know about technology and what their parents know.”