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New YouTube policy tackles disturbing videos aimed at children


Michelle Stein

posted in Parenting

Following a swarm of negative attention, YouTube is taking another step toward preventing disturbing content from reaching children.

In August, YouTube stopped allowing creators to monetize videos that “made inappropriate use of family friendly characters,” according to The Verge. But that still didn’t stop some creators from continuing to target kids with disturbing content. And, unfortunately, violent videos have still managed to make it past automated YouTube filters and to unsuspecting children.

Now, the company has announced a new policy that will put age restrictions on videos featuring “inappropriate use of family entertainment characters,” reports The Guardian.” Videos targeted by these policies likely include  the one below — which features disturbing/violent scenes of Elsa, Spiderman, the Joker and more familiar characters beating each other up and engaging in a shoot-off with automatic weapons.

Yeah. Inappropriate is putting it mildly.

There’s also a particularly worrisome video in which Peppa Pig is essentially tortured at the dentist office. (Which seems to have been removed. Thank. God.) But the list of disturbing content goes on. And on.

This new age restriction policy prevents users from watching if a) They aren’t logged in, or b) If anyone who is registered as younger than 18 attempts to view it, reports The Guardian. Additionally, age-restricted videos are automatically blocked from YouTube Kids. There is one catch, though; the content first needs to be flagged for review by a user in order for the age restriction policy to apply. After this is done, the content is reviewed by one of thousands of moderators across the nation.

As a parent, I believe the age restriction policy for YouTube is definitely a step in the right direction. I still wish there were some way to catch these videos before an actual human has to manually flag it. Hopefully, this new policy will make a marked impact on the amount of disturbing content reaching little eyes. Because once you see Elsa showering Spiderman with bullets, it’s kind of impossible to unsee.

What do you think of the new age restriction policy? Have you ever come across slightly off or deeply disturbing YouTube videos intended for children?

Screenshot via Animals For Kids/YouTube

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