A paediatrician found clips of a man giving instructions on how to commit suicide in the midst of videos meant for children on YouTube. The scene has been spliced into more videos from the popular Nintendo game ‘Splatoon’. It has caused an outcry among parents and child health experts who protest that these visuals are damaging to children.
It is without doubt that Social media and Internet access are changing the way children grow and develop. It brings to greater attention how YouTube is managing the monitoring and removal of problematic content on their platform.
Several of such videos have been uploaded and flagged out, but not before it has reached the viewership of some children. Such content exposes the children to risks of mimicry and them trying to kill themselves without understanding the consequences. It is a worrisome act by those responsible for uploading such videos to target children.
Read the full article on The Straits Times: Paediatrician exposes suicide tips hidden in videos on YouTube and YouTube Kids
Despite the benefits that come with social media and Internet access, there are also different types of harm that parents and educators have to be wary of. Harmful content can be lurking in the supposedly child-friendly content and cause long-term damage to the children.
Alternatively, the platforms that host such content should also take responsibility to monitor and filter harmful content. Currently, they rely on users to flag out inappropriate content, but before that is done, these content could have already be seen by many. Hopefully, these incidents would be reduced when the algorithms mature and learn to block out content. There needs to no room for error when it comes to protecting the young from harm in the digital world.
Questions for further personal evaluation:
- Should young children be allowed to watch videos online unsupervised?
- What are the challenges of online platforms restricting content for respective age groups?
- ‘spliced’: joined