A New York Times piece and a subsequent Medium post this week highlighted an ongoing problem with YouTube Kids — bizarre and disturbing videos aimed at young children using key words and popular children’s characters.
“Age-restricted content is automatically not allowed in YouTube Kids.” YouTube told the Verge, which was one of the first to report the story.
However, YouTube said the change was not in direct response to recent coverage but that it had been formulating this new policy for a while.
YouTube Kids launched in 2015 to bring children suitable content, but these sometimes gruesome videos portraying sex, drugs and violence have been sneaking their way in for some time.
YouTube originally addressed the issue by allowing the algorithm to weed out much of the inappropriate content, but that clearly hasn’t been working.
One recent example highlighted in the Medium post was of the cartoon character Peppa Pig drinking bleach.