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OPLIN 4Cast #572: YouTube Kids probably isn’t for kids

Posted in 4cast, and YouTube

YouTube Kids has been in my newsfeeds quite a bit recently. Unfortunately, not for a great reason. I first became aware of the massive issues with the service when James Brindle’s expansive Medium post, “Something Is Wrong on the Internet” appeared in November. In short, many video are being created by bots, based on algorithmic keywords…and even those created by humans may be full of violence and/or inappropriate material.  Google (which owns YouTube) has initiated a large-scale cleanup, in an attempt to salvage the service.

  • YouTube is not for kids [TechCrunch] “Even if one child enjoys one nursery rhyme, there is so much content that is both ridiculous and dangerous lurking under the surface of the service that you’re almost guaranteed to step on a content landmine.”
  • YouTube Kids has been a problem since 2015 — why did it take this long to address? [Polygon] “The company has ramped up moderation in recent weeks to fight the wave of inappropriate content, but this isn’t the first time YouTube has been in this position.”
  • Google is hiring 10,000 people to clean up YouTube [CNN Wire] “The company isn’t just banking on more human intervention, however. Its machine learning algorithms have helped remove more than 150,000 videos from YouTube since June that depict violent extremism.”
  • Inside Elsagate, the consipiracy-fueled war on creepy YouTube kids videos [The Verge] “TheLocalGamer proceeded to lay out the problem, hiding in plain sight on some of YouTube’s most popular children’s channels: creators were drawing children in with familiar characters — most notably Elsa from Frozen, but also Spider-Man and the Joker — then arranging them in bizarre situations involving cheating spouses or public urination. “

From the Ohio Web Library: