#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.