We get it – YouTube can be such a helpful companion in times where your child needs some quick and easy entertainment in almost any situation. Simply open the app, search for a topic your child is interested in, and viola! We won’t lie – we’ve done it ourselves on numerous occasions. However, with the rise of inappropriate content sneaking its way onto children’s phones and screens such as the Momo Challenge, it’s best for us parents to take the necessary steps to protect our kids.
You might be wondering, what kind of content should I be worried about? Aside from the obvious threats of predators and grooming on the multi-national social networking site, there are around 300 videos uploaded each minute to the platform that lean into topics unsuitable for kids to be watching. Some of these can even make their way onto the YouTube Kids platform, designed (but not without flaws) to hide adult content from kids’ screens. Recently, a channel called ‘Simple Fun’ was suspended as it produced videos featuring iconic characters such as Micky and Minnie Mouse… in scenarios involving pregnancy problems, pole-dancing and physical violence. These videos got millions of views within a few days, and were then recommended via YouTube’s algorithm to even more people searching for Disney videos. As it stands currently, inappropriate and influential videos may be sifting over to your phone and into your child’s hands completely unintentionally.
YouTube itself has some preliminary options for you if you’re looking to safeguard your child’s viewing experience. This is mainly present in the form of its ‘Restricted Mode’. When Restricted Mode is enabled, comments from other viewers will not be visible to your children. The videos that appear in Restricted Mode are determined as ‘safe’ through metadata, video tags, titles and age ratings. On desktop computers, you can enable Restricted Mode by going on YouTube’s web page, clicking on your avatar/profile picture to pop up the menu, and then selecting the option that says ‘Restricted Mode’. On Mobile, open the YouTube app and tap your profile in the upper-right hand corner to access the Account menu. Scan for the option that says ‘Settings’. Press on this and then look for the ‘Restricted Mode’ option. Once on the restricted mode menu, simply tap the slider to filter out some of the more inappropriate content for children.
While there are quite literally hundreds of thousands of channels available for you and your child’s viewing pleasure, it is important to note that not all of these provide quality videos. Many of the higher-quality channels on YouTube have a verified tick next to the channel’s name, allowing you to recognise this channel as a legitimate producer of videos. Here’s our list of a few channels we like to share with our children:
Even with our tips, you may not feel comfortable with your children using YouTube unsupervised. If you feel your child is using YouTube vulnerably or too excessively, you can always block it using FamilyEye by Yomojo, our Parental Control app. Here are the steps to do so:
At Yomojo, we’re always happy to help. If you have any queries about FamilyEye or online safety for your children, feel free to contact us.
Happy streaming! 📺