YouTube For Kids Allows CreepyPasta & Other Scary Videos

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Image from a Don’t Hug Me, I’m Scared vid


So it turns out YouTube might need to fine tune their mobile kids app, YouTube for Kids. Dropping on Monday, the new app for Android and iOS (allegedly coming soon to iPhones) clearly has some bugs to work out in the way of allowable content.

A reader of NMR, who also happens to be a mom, wrote in to inform us that she’d broken through to content that likely ought to be restricted or outright nonexistent on a site that’s tailored for kids.

According to our mom reader, Melody, typing “CreepyPasta” into the search bar immediately brought up videos of scary stories revolving around kid-centric entities like Phineas & Ferb and Rugrats — not exactly the images your five-year-old needs to see.

And if you really want to give them nightmares, introduce them to Don’t Hug Me, I’m Scared, a surprisingly dark twist on a sort of “kid’s education show.” It’s also available on the YouTube for Kids channel.

“So this is not a safe portal and FYI, it is not at all COPPA compliant,” Melody mentioned in her email. “It did not require me to go through any kind of parental verification process. This is just another YouTube viewer app with a few words blocked, pretending to be a huge step forward for YouTube. I’m sure advertisers will flock to such an amazingly well designed platform!”

Of course, YouTube for Kids just launched, so it’s expected that it might take the company a little bit to work out the kinks — you’ll be pleased to know that the word “kinks” does not return any search results. Nor do the terms “boobs,” “freaky dicks” or “how to make a bomb.” So the site’s at least got that going for it at the moment.

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And if you’re really concerned, you can enable the settings bar and limit your child’s searches to what is available on the main page. Which, until YouTube gets this sorted out, you might just want to do.


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