YouTube videos aimed at kids discovered to include self-harm tips

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Florida Mom Discovers Suicide Instructions in YouTube Videos For Children

In July of 2018, the mother originally saw a video of a man holding out his arm and instructing kids on how to properly kill themselves. Free Hess wrote about one and shared a clip of it on her blog at pedimom.com, although at the time of this writing it has been removed. It was flagged by her and others, but it still took YouTube several days to take it down.

"I'm a paediatrician, and I'm seeing more and more kids coming in with self-harm and suicide attempts".

"So anything that's not curated by the parent, we can not just assume they are not going to be viewing things that are 100 percent safe", said Rogers-Wood.

Hess has been blogging about the inappropriate YouTube Kids videos, saying, "I wish I could say that they are isolated incidents but unfortunately I cannot".

Seven months earlier, Hess had posted a complaint from another mother, who also worked as doctor, who had found the same video sequence on YouTube Kids, a video app that is specifically targeted at children and billed by YouTube as "a family-friendly place for kids to explore their interests".

The original video has since been removed from YouTube and YouTube Kids, but there's nothing stopping someone from posting another like it.

A recent YouTube video viewed by The Post appears to include a spliced-in scene showing Internet personality Filthy Frank. The video shows a character opening fire and cursing before the video cuts to a dead body.

"It makes me angry and sad and frustrated", Hess told CNN.

YouTube administrators took the video down for violating their community guidelines shortly after Hess pointed them to it last week.

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In a tweet, the school said: "We are aware that some nasty challenges (Momo challenge) are hacking into children's programmes".

Another video, she added, shows video game character Mario going into an all-girls school and an explanation of a girl trying to hang herself.

The charity is urging the United Kingdom government to crack down on social networks by introducing a new law that forces them to keep children safe.

When asked about the videos in an email exchange with CBC News, the video site responded that YouTube is not intended for kids under 13. The sinister content is fused into cartoon videos in such a way that parents won't suspect a thing unless they decide to sit down with the kid to watch the entire cartoon. We appreciate people drawing problematic content to our attention, and make it possible for anyone to flag a video.

The service claims that it uses a mix of filters, human reviewers, and feedback for its content.

"We are always working to improve our systems and to remove violat [ing] content more quickly".

If you have thoughts of suicide, confidential help is available for free at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

For confidential support in the United Kingdom call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details.

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