We shared a post in April of 2017 regarding “fake” kid videos that are all over YouTube. These videos will pop up in the “recommended” section for your kids and contain click bait so your kids are attracted to them.
They will show a number of inappropriate themes under the guise of family friendly characters like Mickey Mouse, Elsa, Spiderman, etc.
There has been a rash of new “fake” kids videos as noted in this recent story on TODAY.
“While moms and dads have joked about these videos (kid videos) being annoying, they were presumably safe on the YouTube Kids app, a version of the video site that YouTube describes as “a delightfully simple and free app, where kids can discover videos, channels and playlists they love.”
However, one channel available on YouTube Kids, Superkidz Finger Family, has offered a dark take on the “Finger Family” song. Recently, some moms have shared on social media their shock at finding graphic images of Mickey Mouse and his family, shooting one another — and themselves — in the head with guns.
“This is a kids’ YouTube channel…this isn’t even a regular YouTube Channel, it’s a kids’ channel,” Benjamin says through tears. “Please be careful. Please watch the videos with your children, don’t just let them watch the videos by themselves.”
Benjamin’s plea to other parents inspired a Change.org petition, asking YouTube to ban the Superkidz Finger Family channel completely. Other parents left supportive comments saying they had reported the inappropriate content to YouTube.
A spokesperson for YouTube told TODAY Parents that the company works hard to ensure content found on YouTube Kids is family-friendly, adding that they take viewer feedback very seriously. The company also has plans for future updates to the YouTube Kids app, which will allow parents to further customize the types of content they want their kids to watch through the parental control area of the app.
“We appreciate people drawing problematic content to our attention, and make it possible for anyone to flag a video,” said the spokesperson. “Flagged videos are manually reviewed 24/7 and any videos that don’t belong in the app are removed.”
When asked about the Superkidz Finger Family channel specifically, YouTube was unable to comment.
While it appears that YouTube Kids has removed the Superkidz Finger Family channel from the app, the channel is still up on YouTube, with videos clearly aimed at children containing images of Mickey Mouse and graphic scenes of murder and violence.
While YouTube guidelines state that users of the site should be thirteen or older, community guidelinesforbid “violent or gory content that’s primarily intended to be shocking, sensational, or disrespectful.”
Still, detailed guidelines on the site make allowances for “videos that contain dramatized depictions of violence,” stating that such content may be age-restricted by the site, but not banned.
Moms like Brister-Kaster still believe the channel should be removed from YouTube entirely. And, until YouTube finds a more thorough way of filtering their children’s content, Brister-Kaster says she will not allow her daughter to use the app.
“We’ll stick to Disney Jr. and the PBS app,” said Brister-Kaster. “And, I have gotten a lot of messages from other moms that have deleted the app, too, and say the same thing.”
We’ll post another video from Vix on our Facebook page with more examples of these wildly inappropriate videos.