I hate Youtube. There, I finally said it. I use Youtube. I love watching videos. I love the convenience.
I hate that my children accidentally came across a seemingly innocuous cartoon that turned into softcore porn.
After one instance of that, I put my foot down: Youtube must be childproofed.
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Can You Childproof YouTube?
You can use parental controls to childproof Youtube. You should also limit the amount of time a child can watch Youtube. Furthermore, you should pre-determine which channels are acceptable and which are not. No young child should be left to explore Youtube without parental supervision.
How to Set Parental Controls on Youtube
Log into the account by clicking the icon in the upper right corner. Under settings, parents can enable restricted mode.
Note that restricted mode only removes videos that have been reported for inappropriate content. A wildly inappropriate video might appear that has never been flagged.
For instance, I have restricted mode enabled on my own Youtube account because there are things I have no interest in seeing. One day I came across a “Try Not to Laugh” video.
I thought I could use a chuckle, but when I hit play, I was greeted with extreme violence that would certainly be upsetting to any child. Keep that in mind when relying on restricted mode. This mode also disables comments on all videos.
Youtube Kids is a version of Youtube that is made just for kids’ videos. Most of the videos available on Youtube Kids are appropriate, but there are still many videos that are not.
According to Common Sense Media, more than 1/4 of the videos that appear on Youtube Kids are made for older audiences.
Your Child’s Channel
There are children who are now millionaires due to their success on Youtube. Should your child have their own channel so they can make these kinds of videos?
If this is something they want to do, you need to have a serious conversation about their future. A child who begins Youtubing now will never be able to regain anonymity.
It is impossible to know if a child will want to be in the public eye as an adult. Allowing them to pursue Youtube fame as a child removes their choice as they age.
While it is very possible they would be grateful for the opportunity, it is also possible that they will be opened up to more online bullying and future regret. Tread lightly when allowing a child to have their own Youtube channel.
I know this because I’ve looked at those channels myself. When she finds a new video she wants to watch, I watch it first. Her latest obsession is Moriah Elizabeth, which is perfectly kid-safe as well.
It is a huge drain of my time to research these channels, but it is very worthwhile. It is also a good way to keep children from spending too long on Youtube. I simply have to say, “Sorry, I don’t have time to look at that video now. Why don’t you put down the screen and go play?”
Naturally, as children get older, they should have more control over what they watch on Youtube. Hopefully by then, they’ll have the maturity to report anything offensive and move on.
Like all social media, Youtube must be childproofed. Without childproofing, Youtube is a place where children can be exposed to extreme violence, drug use, pornography and serious cruelty.
What are your opinions on childproofing Youtube? Tell us in the comments!
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