What is YouTube? Still King for Kids?

What is YouTube?

youtube most popular video, babyshark, pingfong
March 2021, Baby Shark,  the most popular video on YouTube with 8 billion views.  

YouTube, the video-sharing app was bought by Google in 2006. In 2020 as the second most popular site online, behind Google. Over 600 hours of footage is uploaded to YouTube every minute. Videos are uploaded by users to their Channel, YouTube’s version of a Profile. Viewers can comment and vote on whether they like or dislike them, the votes are known as Upvotes or Downvotes.

YouTube has a huge number of both adult and child users, there have been instances where inappropriate content has been accessed—for example, some videos of children’s TV characters have been dubbed using more adult language and themes. This is very common, especially Postman Pat and Peppa Pig. 

YouTube Race to 10 Billion Views

PinkFong Baby Shark 8.2 billion views
Luis Fonsi - Despacito 7.3 bilion views
Ed Sheeran - Shape of You 5.2 billion views

Psy Gangham style is hanging on in with close to 4 billion views in the top 10 still.

Do age restrictions apply?

Yes, even for just watching videos according to the terms and conditions—which might disappoint kids! YouTube users should be over the age of 13 due to the personal information the app collects for example location, viewing habits and searches. Not all content on YouTube is appropriate for young kids. YouTube does not enforce age limits like TikTok. 

Are there any Privacy settings/controls?

Anyone wishing to post a video has several privacy options. Videos can be posted publically meaning anyone using YouTube can watch them (a potential audience of over 3.5 Billion people). You also have the option to post an unlisted video which allows you to share a link with family and friends rather than allowing other users to find it in a search. The last option is private which means only you will be able to see and access the video. You also have a few options available on how other users can interact with your content. You can turn off comments and up/down votes (as in TikTok, Facebook, Instagram).

Kids, Tweens, and young Teenagers are drawn to YouTube to watch their favourite “YouTubers” - an individual who regularly posts content to their Channels. Gaming YouTubers post videos on Fortnite, Minecraft and the FIFA games. Other YouTubers offer their views on fashion, makeup, sports and many other interests. Several YouTubers are paid to advertise products by popular brands and as a result, it can be difficult to tell what is an opinion and what is a paid product endorsement. This is becoming a real issue for parents as kids trust these Tubers instinctively and don't like to be warned off them. 

youtube influencersRich and Famous but still idiots. And they're proud of it.

YouTubers can be total morons

Some YouTubers have been criticised for popularising pranks and not considering their impressionable audience when performing outlandish stunts in public. One popular YouTuber amongst children and teens was recently campaigned against for posting an insensitive video mocking suicide. Several of the skyscrapers hand climbers are even worse now that Building sites have less security since COVID19 lockdown.  YouTubers promoting Fake news, suggested unverified weight loss diets have prospered in 2021.  Google & YouTube should stamp down on these channels for their misinformation. Take 20 minutes to explore some of the idiots our kids are watching, they're so bad we are not going to name them here.

YouTube kids - For the u13s

YouTube offers an app for under 13's called YouTube Kids. This may or may not allow your child to watch their favourite YouTubers, depending on how age-appropriate they are. Discuss this with your kids before allowing them access to either version of the app. The app also comes with a timer so you can set a maximum amount of time for them to watch videos and you can turn off the search feature so they can only watch from approved channels chosen by YouTube. It’s free on the app store for both Apple and Android devices. 

YouTube also comes with a Restricted Mode feature. This restricts access to adult material and gives children access to a greater selection of appropriate videos than using the Kids app. 

It is not perfect, there may be times that inappropriate or adult-themed content may be accessible. These can be reported to YouTube who will either reclassify them or remove them completely. Buy Norton 360 Parental Control

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Here's why Turning off AutoPlay is a great idea

YouTube is for everyone so sometimes some of the videos our children may come across might be adult in nature or just inappropriate. Not sure how to do any of these below, look up how to do it on YouTube, for example, type into YouTube search. 'report bad content on YouTube'

  • YouTube, suggest videos based on your viewing habits
  • YouTube can misinterpret your preferences offering inappropriate content
  • Turn off AutoPlay on the settings page
  • Start Reporting bad content & click ‘Not interested’

Use Time Limits

There is always something to watch on YouTube which can make it a never-ending viewing experience. This means that without any boundaries, our children could very well end up spending their whole day watching the app. To enable parents to properly manage screen time, the YouTube for Kids app comes with a timer that you can lock with a passcode. When their time is up, they’ll need your passcode to continue.

It’s a little more difficult to manage time but still easy to monitor through the standard YouTube app. You can set the app to remind them to take a break. YouTube offers a log of how long has been spent using the app. This can show you how much they’ve watched today, yesterday and in the last 7 days.

It’s also worth remembering that YouTube can also be a distraction during homework and at bedtimes so consider some rules around when and where they can access their mobile device - keeping them away from the closed doors of bedrooms can help keep you more in control of the time they spend on it.  We always recommend parental control. Here is our new recommendation Norton 360

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Articles of Interest

Make TikTok safer but not Safe

Don't spend a penny on your kids' online Safety

Internet Safety Tips for Kids - Keeping Kids Safe Online Safe Online

Things to think about

Age-appropriate content Manage their screen time Want to learn more?

YouTube help:

Help for YouTube Kids including how to set parental controls:

More information for parents and carers:



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