The YouTube Kids app is showing videos about conspiracy theories

Joanna Estrada
March 19, 2018

The kid-friendly version of YouTube launched three-years ago and is a separate app from the main YouTube app. This time, it's not violent videos but questionable conspiracy theories. To wit, it's showing its young viewers videos that teach them the nonsensical, including "that the world is flat, that the moon landing was faked, and that the planet is ruled by reptile-human hybrids", according to BI's own first-hand findings.

In his report, Cook proclaimed, "This issue with the YouTube Kids app shows the problem with YouTube's suggested videos algorithm". A search for "UFO" led to videos by David Icke, a veteran conspiracist who claims that the Earth is ruled by a secret race of "lizard people".

One of the top videos to appear for the search term "UFO" was a almost five-hour-long lecture by professional conspiracy theorist David Icke. (The Freemasons also killed President John Kennedy, he tells viewers.).

YouTube has been working to remove conspiracy theory videos from its inventory of clips. Even if you agree with some of his allegations, that clip should not be on YouTube Kids, which is supposed to be a place where parents can let their kids look at videos without worrying that they will spoil the minds of these children. YouTube Kids, for those unfamiliar, is basically YouTube that has been heavily filtered and sorted where it will only display content that is deemed suitable for children, which conspiracy videos are clearly not. Those guidelines cover bullying, hate speech, graphic violence, and sexually explicit content, but not misinformation. CEO Susan Wojcicki has said the company will soon surface information from Wikipedia and other sources alongside videos about conspiracy theories. "This content is screened using human trained systems", declared YouTube in a statement. The company added that it takes "immediate action" to block inappropriate videos from appearing in the app. "We will continue to work to improve the YouTube Kids app experience".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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