First, YouTube inadvertently helped pedophiles find underage content. Now, the YouTube Kids app shows kids how to commit suicide (via Washington Post).
YouTube Kids Suicide
One video was spotted by a mother while watched YouTube Kids cartoons with her son. In the middle of the video, the cartoon cut to a clip of a man miming cutting his wrist and saying: “Remember kids, sideways for attention, longways for results.”
That video was taken down after the doctor reported it to YouTube. But more cartoons have been found with suicide instructions. Dr. Free Hess wrote about one and shared a clip of it on her blog at pedimom.com, although at the time of this writing it has been removed.
A spokeswoman from YouTube told the Post:
We rely on both user flagging and smart detection technology to flag this content for our reviewers. Every quarter we remove millions of videos and channels that violate our policies and we remove the majority of these videos before they have any views…Andrea Faville, YouTube spokeswoman
But Nadine Kaslow, a former president of the American Psychological Association and professor at Emory University School of Medicine, told the Post that taking down the videos isn’t enough. “For children who have been exposed, they’ve been exposed. There needs to be messaging—this is why it’s not okay.”
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) has several resources on their website, including What Parents Should Know about teen suicide as well as Responsible Reporting Guidelines, which outline recommendations and best practices for reporting on suicide.
[Television Shouldn’t Be Your Child’s Babysitter]