Shocking: Suicide tips surface on YouTube Kids videos

Shocking: Suicide tips surface on YouTube Kids videos

Doctor Free Hess, a paediatrician from Florida, has exposed suicide tips for children hidden in videos on YouTube and YouTube Kids.

A child watching cartoons
A child watching cartoons/ iStock

In a world where suicide, violence, and crime are rife, the last thing parents need is for their kids to be exposed to any content that can promote such.

Shockingly, YouTube Kids - a platform that is supposed to have kid-friendly content, was found to have suicide clips and sexual exploitation videos.

Free Hess, the founder of the child safety website PediMom, took to her website to share the horrific discovery.

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"My research has led me into a horrifying world where people create cartoons glorifying dangerous topics and scenarios such as self-harm, suicide, sexual exploitation, trafficking, domestic violence, sexual abuse and gun violence which includes a simulated school shooting. All of these videos were found on YouTube Kids, a platform that advertises itself to be a safe place for children, eight years' old and under," Hess wrote on PediMom.

“Exposure to videos, photos, and other self-harm and suicidal promoting content is a huge problem that our children are facing today. Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death in individuals between the ages of 10 and 34 and the numbers of children exhibiting some form of self-harm is growing rapidly."

Doctor Hess warned parents that access to self-harm and suicide-promoting content is making the situation worse.

She went on to urge parents to fight against social media platforms that don't adhere to age-restriction rules.

"We should start by educating ourselves, educating our children, and speaking up when we see something that is dangerous for our children. We also need to fight to have the developers of social media platforms held responsible when they do not assure that age restrictions are followed and when they do not remove inappropriate and/or dangerous material when reported," she wrote.

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Image courtesy of iStock/ @Tetiana Soares

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