With over 300 hours of video uploaded every minute, it’s nearly impossible to get bored watching YouTube.
It’s no wonder kids find watching YouTube so entertaining, new content is merely a click away. So what’s the problem?
YouTube is designed to keep users engaged as long as possible so they can continually target the viewer with ads. YouTube achieves this by creating an endless stream of video content tailored to viewer's interests based on who they subscribe to, or the video they’re watching at the time. YouTube is also full of ‘parody’ videos which are basically live action knock-off videos of kids' cartoons, made by adults attempting to make money off advertising. They’re quite often un-rated and because they reference kids' shows they’ll appear in the recommended list alongside the videos parents allow their kids to watch. This means that it’s very easy for kids to start watching a safe video and then click the next video in line until they find themselves watching something totally inappropriate.
So what does this mean for parents of kids under 13?
Cyber Expert and Psychologist Jordan Foster from ySafe explains,
"YouTube’s constant advertising is not the issue, it’s the tailored stream of videos targeting the viewer. Kids are provided with a never ending source of entertainment that can begin with a cute Peppa Pig video and lead to very inappropriate content before parents even realize it."
This is what Cyber Experts refer to as the "YouTube Rabbit Hole"—a parent can put on an innocent cartoon for the kids while they get dinner ready and very quickly the child can click the next video in the ‘Recommended’ list, and then the one after that and so on until they’re watching videos with nudity, foul language or worse, Jordan explains.
And for parents of teens?