Kids as Young as 9 are Uploading Videos to YouTube Unsupervised

Jul 16, 2017

Are your kids obsessed with YouTube? It’s an easy digital babysitter to occupy your child’s attention and many are hooked on watching the seemingly endless number of videos that live on the site. But if you’re allowing your children to watch (or upload) YouTube videos unsupervised, they could be seeing some inappropriate – or downright dangerous – content.

While handing your kids a tablet might seem innocuous, it also means you’re removing yourself from the equation. By handing off a digital device with unlimited access to what the internet has to offer, you’re opening the floodgates to what your child can access.

A recent study reported that, “In the US, 25% of 3-year-olds go online daily, rising to about 50% by age 5 and nearly 70% by age 8.” So it should be no surprise that the Irish Mirror recently reported that children aged nine and ten admitted to filming their own videos and uploading them to YouTube – without their parent’s permission.

Why is this an issue? Plain and simple… because the parents aren’t aware of it happening.

The Danger of Digital Natives

This doesn’t mean that the children in question intended to be devious and upload YouTube videos without consent, but it does mean that kids are so ingrained with the nature of viral video and online consumption that it didn’t even cross their minds to ask mom and dad if it was okay.

This brings up a bigger behavioral quagmire: What else are kids doing online that parents don’t know about?

It seems like every day there is another report of a child involved in cyberbullying, sexting or stumbling across pictures or videos that are not intended for innocent eyes. I count my parents as lucky, since I didn’t grow up completely immersed in technology like children are today. Now, kids are more internet intuitive than most adults. As a parent, how can you take control of the situation? It may seem daunting, but there are a few tips that can help.

Enable YouTube’s Safety Mode

YouTube has a hard-to-find safety mode that helps keep content kid-friendly. For a step-by-step walkthrough of how to find safety mode and enable for your family, read our guide here.

Create Playlists

Playlists are an easy way to find appropriate content and approve for your child to watch. If you have a family account, you can organize individual playlists per child and add to whenever necessary. Make sure you fully watch the videos through to the end.

Watch Along with Kids

There is no substitute for actively watching along with your child. This not only helps you know exactly what your kids are watching, but you can also score some quality time with your child.

Post Privately

If your child insists on being able to post their own YouTube videos, try posting privately only. Private videos won’t be seen by the public and can drastically cut down on any safety issues. If you do choose to allow your child to post their YouTube videos publicly, make sure you disable commenting.

Use an Internet Filter

When in doubt, use a parental control software with a reliable internet filter to block any websites inappropriate for your child’s age.