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    I removed YouTube kids from our iPad after my daughter somehow ended up on a video of someone acting out Peppa Pig toys and it was terrible. Peppa Pig was basically a mean spirited terrible thing in it, it was like some kind of mean girls-sequence thing. As well as watching videos where kids have these playground sets worth 1000s of dollars (that we could never afford) and our daughter basically pining after all this useless schlock when she’s got loads of toys sitting here.

    Sure, YouTube kids made the claim that the videos were “safe” from the app. But they never made any claim that they were “healthy”. That’s the distinction I have a problem with. Sure the videos don’t depict horrible terrible adult themes most of the time, but is it really healthy for a child to watch other kids gorge themselves on candy, be handed 100s of dollars in toys just to open them, etc… we can train for finding disturbing imagery, audio, etc… but how do you evaluate the video from a psychological context to decide if it’s something that won’t mentally influence a child in a potentially harmful negative way.

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      For better or worse, I sometimes stick my son in front of youtube–when I’m trying to cook in a hurry, for example.

      I can’t do that anymore after reading this article.

      Is there some way to filter this kind of thing out?

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        There’s apps that are more curated. I think there’s a BBC iPlayer app for kids, or the Netflix kids sign in. There’s also things like Hopster, etc… but most of them are subscription based versus youtubes free-ness. the other thing is kids I don’t think really care about watching the same episodes multiple times. I think we project onto them our need for constant new content. My kids will happily watch the same season of Sarah and duck over and over and get a kick out of knowing all the lines. So the revolving door of content could easily be replaced with a list of episodes if you just downloaded a few from iTunes, amazon or wherever once in a while to keep it fresh and to avoid paying a subscription. If you pay a tv licence in the U.K. you get the Bbc iPlayer stuff free though which is awesome. Not sure if it’s free elsewhere. When we lived in Canada i think we paid a subscription fee.

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          Your observation about repeats is absolutely valid and helpful, thanks for the reminder that my content needs are not his!

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          Can anybody find an example of this kind of creepy content with more than X views, where X is 1,000,000, or 10,000,000, or 100,000, or some round number like that?

          Perhaps I/we/somebody could devise some kind of filter based on the view count?

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          This is mildly interesting, but seems more like “hey, did you know there are weird videos on the Internet?” and I’m like… “uh… yes?”

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            I found the dig into the networks of automated and semi-automated YouTube content aimed at kids here interesting, especially with the odd procedurally generated auto-“remix” angle where algorithms pick up and mix and match trends. I didn’t know such things existed or were deployed in the real world at such large scale, though in retrospect maybe I should’ve assumed.

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              On the other hand, if you’re a fan of Hotline Miami, some Peppa Pig remixes are delightful.

              One wonders if there’s any studies beyond a gut feeling of “this is wrong”.

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                  about 9/11 conspiracies

                  I can’t take anyone seriously who doesn’t take physics [1] [2] [3.1] [3.2] [4] [5] [6] seriously, sorry.

                  Edit: but I definitely agree with the title of the piece!