Parents often allow their children to browse the YouTube network under the belief that the social video platform generally hides smut before it can propagate. Over the years the network has become a platform for music videos, educational content and even classic cartoons for children. Yet despite a wholesome family image, research released in support of ‘Safer Internet Day’ found that children “can be as little as three clicks away from inappropriate or adult content.”
In a press release Kaspersky Lab writes:
“Examining YouTube’s ‘suggested’ videos which sit visibly alongside clips or episodes of popular children’s television programs such as Peppa Pig, Rastamouse and Dora the Explorer, researchers found that, on average, users are just three clicks away from content better suited to a more mature audience.”
Children can easily access violent videos, guns and even nudity which has not been censored.
David Emm, senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab explains:
“It’s worrying to see just how simple it is for children to access videos of an adult nature on YouTube. With younger generations becoming more IT literate and parents increasingly turning to mobile devices, online games and apps as a means of entertaining their kids, these results highlight the importance of taking steps to protect them online.”
While there are no permanent blocks for smutty YouTube content Kaspersky suggests that parents look through their browsers internet history and pay close attention to their child’s browsing habits. YouTube does offer a safety mode feature which targets mature content and age restricted content. YouTube acknowledges that its safety mode is not 100% accurate but instead a good first step in removing smut from a child’s computer screen.