Self-harm clips hidden in kids' cartoons

Self-harm clips hidden in kids' cartoons

Self-harm clips hidden in kids' cartoons

YouTube Kids is meant as a kid-friendly version of YouTube for children 8 years old and under, CBS News said, but trolls have founds ways around YouTube's algorithm and are posting the potentially harmful videos. However, parents have since discovered that several other cartoons contain information about how to commit suicide, including the same spliced-in video clip.

Hess added to CBS News that she made it her mission to bring awareness to disturbing and violent content children consume on social media after seeing higher rates of suicide in children in her own emergency room over the last few years. While a lapse may be possible on YouTube.com, YouTube Kids supposedly implements a stricter process in what gets into the app.

A video inspired by the "Minecraft" game depicted a school shooting, she said. But the character, named Momo, has recently begun to infiltrate YouTube videos meant for kids and has apparently been promoting suicide and other unsafe activities.

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She said that minutes into the clip from a children's video game, a man appeared on the screen - giving instructions on how to commit suicide. It is just one of the issues YouTube says it is addressing.

According to the Washington Post, Andrea Faville, a spokesperson for YouTube, said that the company is working to make sure that its platform is "not used to encourage risky behavior and we have strict policies that prohibit videos which promote self-harm".

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"It makes me angry and sad and frustrated", Hess told CNN. "I immediately turned off the video", she wrote. Flagged videos are manually reviewed 24/7 and any videos that don't belong in the app are removed.

Hess said she also found videos glorifying not only suicide but sexual exploitation and abuse, human trafficking, gun violence and domestic violence.

"As parents, if we want our kids to be spending time in those places, we just have to make sure that they're equipped to know what to do when they run into some of that dark, or unhealthy, or in this case, self-harm content", McKenna said. We are making constant improvements to our systems and recognize there's more work to do. Kids are young to understand the consequences and it would be too late before parents realise it.

Dr Hess, from Florida, US, has been pushing to have the confronting YouTube clips removed, backed by other parents and child health experts. Exposing their curious nature to such videos can end up badly as they can trigger bad memories, nightmares or even attempt at mimicking suicide attempts shown in the videos.

If you have thoughts of suicide, confidential help is available for free at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

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