More problems for the YouTube Kids app.Image: NurPhoto via Getty ImagesBy Karissa Bell2018-03-19 00:35:11 UTC
YouTube Kids is once again facing questions over the content of its app. This time, it’s not violent videos but questionable conspiracy theories.
A report in Business Insider found the app recommended a number of videos promoting conspiracy theories, including that the moon landing was faked, the pyramids were built by aliens, and that “the planet is run by reptile-human hybrids,” among others.
Though these videos may not violate YouTube’s guidelines, it’s obviously not the type of content YouTube wants to promote to young children.
Worse, the revelation comes just as the company is facing increased scrutiny over its platform’s role in propagating conspiracy theories. CEO Susan Wojcicki has said the company will soon surface information from Wikipedia and other sources alongside videos about conspiracy theories.
In a statement, a YouTube spokesperson confirmed the videos have been removed from the app and acknowledged “no system is perfect and sometimes we miss the mark.”
The YouTube Kids app is home to a wide variety of content that includes enriching and entertaining videos for families. This content is screened using human trained systems. That being said, no system is perfect and sometimes we miss the mark. When we do, we take immediate action to block the videos or, as necessary, channels from appearing in the app. We will continue to work to improve the YouTube Kids app experience.
The problem for YouTube, though, is that with the vast amount of videos on its platform, the company hasn’t done a very good job at filtering out what is and isn’t suitable for children.
YouTube Kids has previously come under fire for promoting violent videos disguised as cartoons. It’s also faced questions from the FTC over whether sponsored content is properly identified.