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This article was published on March 27, 2017

YouTube Kids features some pretty disturbing content

YouTube Kids features some pretty disturbing content
Rachel Kaser
Story by

Rachel Kaser

Internet Culture Writer

Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback riding. Check her Twitter for curmudgeonly criticisms.

In case you needed reminding, monitor what your children watch on YouTube. That innocuous-looking cartoon may be something disturbing.

BBC Trending investigated the multitude of YouTube videos which look superficially like children’s cartoons, but contain violent or terrifying imagery. It found several channels dedicated to that kind of content, some with millions of views.

Some of the content was originally found by journalist Laura June, who had the unpleasant experience of watching a video of “Peppa Pig” with her three-year-old. In the video, Peppa is drugged by a sadistic dentist and has her teeth pulled while she screams in agony. Not exactly something you’d want the average three-year-old to see.

And if you think you can bypass these videos by letting your kids use the YouTube Kids app … think again.

June commented that the app has an automated filter, meaning it will let some stuff through. In this case, it’s fake Peppa Pig videos and other disturbing content, which look very close to the authentic animation.

YouTube — like any other content provider — has its share of unpleasant stuff. Exercise caution when letting children watch. YouTube recommends turning on Restricted Mode to help cut down on the bad stuff.

Several of the original videos the BBC found have since been deleted.

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