As parents, our child’s safety is priority especially with the growing social media networks. I will be the first one to admit that there are many times that I just hand over my phone or tell the kids to grab an ipad without knowing what they are watching. With the breaking news story about possible hidden suicide messages in YouTube kids videos, parents are about to press delete! Yes, it’s disturbing to see that a reliable company like YouTube wouldn’t filter this type of content, but take into consideration that education could be more powerful. But parents are worried that there’s nothing stopping someone from posting another like it. And they are right to worry, but the solution isn’t to delete the app. It’s important for parents to educate themselves and continue to monitor what their children watch that way they can report inappropriate content to social media platforms, so it can be flagged and pulled. YouTube released a statement, “Flagged videos are manually reviewed 24/7 and any videos that don’t belong in the app are removed.” As a side note, years before YouTube kids, I remember my 5 year old daughter looking at American Girl videos. After a few videos, YouTube made a few suggestions for other videos she may be interested in watching and one was an “American Girl” in a swimsuit. We had a number of conversations prior to that, so she immediately showed me the ipad. I was able to report the issue to YouTube and she we searched together for an appropriate video. So, another idea is to definitely have a talk with your children about appropriate video content and when to make a report to an adult. Parents have every right to worry, but here here are 3 tips for keeping kids safe on YouTube Kids.
1.Create Kid Profiles/Content Levels
Create a profile for each of your children. This is really important if you have children whose ages vary. This allows parents to approve content levels and choose between “Younger” (under 8) or “Older” (12 and under) mode to control what content is made available.
2. Approve Content
Youtube invested in new controls for parents including the ability to hand pick videos and channels in the app. You can access collections by trusted partners and youtube kids. Be sure to check the “Watch History”- Keep tabs on what your kids are watching in the app.
3. Search Control
Find a video or channel you don’t want your kid to watch? Block it to automatically remove it from all of your kids’ profiles. Parents can turn search on so kids can access more videos. Turn search off for a more contained experience.
More information can be found for Youtube Kids