It’s a fact, Kids love YouTube. With an estimated 4 billion plus videos watched each day, it’s easily one of the top daily visited websites on the Internet. But be warned, all is not well with YouTube.
Like most of you I thought YouTube was a fairly benign and safe place for my kids to hang out at (I understood their policy to be that they did not allow Adult content). As part of my work building IT systems to protect kids I’ve needed to take a closer look at what videos are actually available to my kids on YouTube, and what I found was appalling.
YouTube policy on Adult content states “If a video is intended to be sexually provocative, it is less likely to be acceptable for YouTube. In cases where videos do not cross the line, but still contain sexual content, we may apply an age-restriction so that only viewers over a certain age can view the content.”
Be Warned – Graphic and explicit videos abound, and are readily available. YouTube limits its responsibility with a declaration requirement of “Click this box to confirm you are an adult” and then my kids are free to roam the video archives at will.
Because I live in the real world, I can’t simply tell my kids not to use YouTube or just block it outright, so I needed a better solution. Enter SafeSurfer.
As part of the many things SafeSurfer does, one of them is to apply a medium level age restriction to my home network and all the devices on that network (iPads, iPods, iPhones, Smart TV’s, Apple TV’s Computers etc). This age restriction limitation can’t be switched off, and ensures that my kids are not inadvertently or intentionally exposed to violent, graphic and sexual content.
SafeSurfer is a free for home use DNS firewall available at http://www.safesurfer.co.nz