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Is YouTube For Kids? – 5 Reasons We Say No

Last Updated: July 19, 2021

Luke Gilkerson
Luke Gilkerson

Luke Gilkerson has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies and an MA in Religion. He is the author of Your Brain on Porn and The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality. Luke and his wife Trisha blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com

#1: YouTube says so

The YouTube produced video, Staying Safe on YouTube, clearly states, “YouTube is not for kids under 13…come back after your 13th birthday.”

#2: YouTube has porn

YouTube’s Community Guidelines state, “YouTube is not for pornography or sexually explicit content. If this describes your video, even if it’s a video of yourself, don’t post it on YouTube.” Still, this does not mean YouTubers don’t push the limits.

In 2009 the Media Research Center published an official report about the volume of sexually suggestive content on YouTube. They searched for the word “porn” on YouTube and studied the 157 most popular search results—videos that had been viewed more than 1 million times each. Two-thirds of these videos advertised themselves as being actual pornography, and many showed brief clips from porn films, interviews with porn stars, or advertisements for porn sites or phone sex lines.

#3: YouTube has other sexual content

Mainstream media uses YouTube to post the latest music videos, movie clips, and movie trailers. Everyday YouTube users also publish their own sexually provocative content: crude humor, low cut clothing, and adult conversations.

#4: YouTube contains profanity

Other than hate speech and threatening comments, there is nothing in YouTube’s Guidelines about profane language. Many YouTube videos contain language parents would not want their children hearing.

#5: There are alternatives for kids

  • Bypass YouTube altogether. Use sites that produce their own kids-friendly videos. Nearly any popular television programming for children will have a corresponding website. Examples include Nick,  PBSKids, and National Geographic Kids.
  • Other sites or apps collect YouTube videos that are deemed appropriate for kids. Weet Woo! and YouTube Videos for Kids are iPhone apps. KidKui and Kido’z are kids-safe video browsers. Kideoplayer.com shows a random sampling of kid-friendly YouTube videos one at a time, and WatchKnowLearn.com aggregates educational videos from all over the Internet.
  • Comments on: Is YouTube For Kids? – 5 Reasons We Say No
    1. I agree with the points of this blog post but it seems a little overboard. All the reasons you listed that kids shouldn’t use YouTube also apply to the Internet and television.

      Simply saying, “It’s not for kids,” is too broad of a statement. I take the approach that it’s not for kids to use ALONE. The same applies to the Internet and television.

      There are a number of great channels on YouTube that are kid-friendly and if parents are careful about previewing videos then YouTube can be safely navigated.

      • Luke Gilkerson

        John, you are right. It can be navigated safely, which is exactly what our YouTube guide for parents talks about. You can do a lot to help your kids use YouTube safely. When I say “YouTube is not for kids” I mean “YouTube as it stands is not for kids.” YouTube + good parenting and oversight is another matter altogether. Thanks, John!

    2. Luke,

      We are working on the parent-filtered version of “YouTube” — http://happyflix.com/

      It’s not an official YouTube and not owned by Google.

      We have a board of parents who review videos coming from YouTube and filter inappropriate content. This way, we allow no violence, swearing and inappropriate behavior. And it’s all Free.

      Premium features include custom schedule for a kid, tracking interests and watching habits, custom playlists, video suggestions and much more.

      Hope it helps your readers to find a safer place for their kids.

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