As if parents needed another reason to control and monitor all of their children’s activity online, we’ve got it here. There’s a new report that suggests many eagle-eyed parents have noticed that dangerous clips of people encouraging children to engage in self-harm are being re-uploaded on YouTube. What makes this troubling for many moms and dads, is this comes after the popular video-sharing site has made an effort to crack down on controversial clips.
According to Buzzfeed, parents are now taking matters into their own hands by finding and flagging controversial clips that are making their way back onto YouTube. For example, one popular YouTube personality has been posting videos that include instruction on how children should cut themselves. The clips were found on what was presumed to be the heavily-censored YouTube Kids app.
The Splatoon-style cartoon features YouTube personality Filthy Frank and his skit about self-harm. Filthy Frank’s video not only encourages kids to harm themselves, but also features a side-by-side animated pantomime cutting his arms. He says, "Remember, kids, sideways for attention, longways for results. End it." The video was edited by an online but an unidentified troll.
It’s been noted that many of the original, unedited versions of the Splatoon cartoons have millions of hits on YouTube. The app recently said that they’ve given Filthy Frank a “strike” and that the site will terminate their channel if they continue to violate their policies.
For parents, there are several things they can do in order to make sure that their children remain safe online. First and foremost, talk to your children about their internet activity, what sites they frequent and what videos they prefer to watch. Also, keep a good eye on what your child is watching online by monitoring their history or setting parental controls on their devices.
In addition, it’s been recommended that kids and especially children under the age of 2 should have no more than two hours of screen time per day. If you are concerned about your child’s screen usage and their mental health, limit the time they spend online or better yet, take their electronic devices away. Encourage your children to tap into their inner creativity by playing with friends, spending time outside, or reading a book. The more parents communicate with their children – while also making their expectations clear – the better.