A great number of YouTube videos aimed at children contain creepy, disturbing, violent and sexual content. Some even border on child abuse. It is time to take a closer look at these videos that generate millions of views per day.
Warning: This article contains disturbing images … although they’re all taken from children’s videos.
There is no easier way to get small children to pipe down than handing them a tablet or a smartphone. Toddlers know how to launch YouTube, play videos and even navigate to other “recommended videos”. This keeps children silent and entertained for long periods of time – a luxury that busy parents greatly appreciate.
While most parents hear the children’s music playing in the background, they rarely watch the videos played by their children. When they do glimpse at the screen, they see a character such as Spiderman or Princess Elsa and assume that everything is cool. But everything is not cool. There is something terribly wrong with some children’s YouTube videos and, often, those who create them do not have the best of intentions.
A great deal of these videos contains weird, disturbing, violent and even traumatizing content. They are insidiously mixed with other children’s videos, causing them to appear as “recommended videos” by YouTube and, therefore, easily accessible to children.
I am not talking about rare, obscure videos hiding in the depths of YouTube, I am talking about channels that cumulate billions of views.
Of course, the main motivation behind these videos is profit. All it takes is a few superhero costumes and a smartphone to create videos that can potentially generate lots of revenue.
However, some of these videos are simply not right. There appears to be a motivation that goes beyond profit. Some videos trick children into watching traumatizing content, others expose them to oddly “adult” situations. Even worse, some appear to cater to adults … who like to watch children. Here are some examples of the video cancer growing on YouTube (I won’t be linking to any of these videos or channels because I don’t want to help them get more hits).
Some video channels use popular characters to trick children into watching violent and disturbing material. The BBC recently reported on some of these videos.
Exploiting Fears and Terror
Many videos clearly exploit children’s visceral fear and repulsion of certain things such as blood, syringes, cutting skin, tarantulas, evil clowns attacking them, etc. Children are horrified by what they are watching yet they cannot look away because the content is engrossing.
Some videos are clearly sexual – in a creepy and perverted way.
YouTube is also quick to recommend a bunch of other similar videos.
Several YouTube channels star young children in all kinds of bizarre situations. Other than the fact that these children might be forced to appear in hundreds of videos for profit, they are also often made to enact traumatic situations. Here are screenshots from a channel named MaddaKenz Vlogs where the girls often appear to be genuinely unhappy and distressed.
Things get even weirder – to the point that I feel uncomfortable even posting screenshots on there. But this filth needs to be exposed.
Catering to Pervs
Unfortunately, there are other channels that produce these kinds of videos.
Viewing these videos in order to write this article was a disturbing experience. Most of them trigger that gut feeling that something is wrong and that children’s innocence is being preyed on by twisted minds. Although there’s an absurd amount of this type of content on YouTube (this article could have been 10 times longer), I attempted to expose the various reasons why these videos are cancerous. Using underhanded and manipulative ways, these videos deliver disturbing content directly into the brains of very young children.
One wonders how these “amateur” channels can even exploit the likeness of these children’s characters without being hit with copyright infringement lawsuits. Also, many channels are clearly sponsored by major brands to produce videos that brainwash children into consuming their stuff (I recall watching a video where The Hulk eats Kinder chocolates for like 4 minutes non-stop). Obviously, there is big money and big corporations behind these cheap-looking videos.
However, the true aim of this article is not about YouTube moderation, it is about vigilance: Keep an eye on the videos watched by children. Analyze their contents. It only takes a few taps on a touchscreen for children to end up watching videos custom-made to poison their minds and shock their very core. And don’t be surprised if some of these video channels are linked to actual child abuse systems.