It’s an age-old debate: how young is too young for kids to watch content on TV or online that they might find disturbing? And should parents keep a closer eye on what their kids are watching on the Internet?
Recent research by the Pew Research Center shows that more than 80% of parents are allowing their children aged 11 and younger to watch YouTube even though the platform usually shows disturbing videos.
There is an algorithm that YouTube employs specifically for YouTube Kids that is supposed to shield young kids from unsuitable content, but the study showed that certain cartoons depicted characters attempting suicide, being beaten and buried alive, and other violent incidents. The studies show that parents take a laid-back approach to the content and about exposing their kids to such videos.
And letting a kid run wild on YouTube will undoubtedly broadcast some things that most parents wouldn’t want their little ones to see. Things that could potentially leave scarring for kids and impact their psyche. Even though these images may be cartoons, they are still disturbing. Take for example characters lighting each other on fire and animals being hurt or even killed.
In 2017, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki admitted that even she has witnessed “another, more troubling, side of YouTube’s openness.”
Keep an eye on those kids, parents. Even if they’re staring at a screen blankly, disturbing videos may be getting through and they’re still absorbing images that might upset them and leave lasting marks.