Is it safe to let your kids watch YouTube (even YouTube Kids)? This week's parenting news is full of stories drawing that into question, and even though YouTube is actively working to address the issue (or at least the PR aspect of it), it's a good reminder that with unmoderated content channels like YouTube, you just never know what you'll run into.
What everyone on the (virtual) playground is talking about this week.
*Is YouTube (even YouTube Kids) Safe for Kids? :: (Warning: Pretty much all of this is extremely disturbing if you have kids.) Here’s the skinny: Last week, Matt Watson hit the vlog waves with evidence that pedophiles were using the comments section of kids’ videos to share images of minors caught in suggestive poses, and that the YouTube algorithm actively facilitates the serving of similar content (YouTube). This week, YouTube said it would temporarily disable comments on (almost) all videos that feature kids (The Verge) in the coming months (i.e. not right away). Meanwhile, a pediatrician/mom from Gainesville, Florida, reported a trove of content on the YouTube Kids app depicting suicides, school shootings, and violence against female characters (BuzzFeed), and we’ve known since this 2017 NY Times article that there are people intentionally sneaking scary and disturbing videos to kids, disguised as kid-friendly content. On the positive side, Kim Kardashian has stepped forward to address the so-called “Momo challenge” (a creepy viral character that supposedly pops up during kid content and tells kids to do things like set the house on fire or kill themselves) (Fatherly) — but then the Momo challenge was proven to be a hoax. (ScaryMommy) The upshot — we probably all want to consider restricting our kids’ unfettered access to unmoderated internet video content (if we weren’t already). But barring that, Offspring has some ideas for how to keep kids safe on YouTube.
Cool new tech to make life easier for parents and families.
- Podcasts for Kids :: Check out Pinna, a new ad-free subscription podcast service for kids (Offspring) or just check out this list of the top podcasts for kids.
Interesting stuff you can share with your kids -- or, if they're old enough, even have them read themselves.
- International Women's Day :: Let's look back and remember decades of struggling for equality, justice, peace and change. (Kidzworld)
- 8 Kids Under 12 Who Are Changing the World :: These kids will restore your faith in humanity. (Red Tricycle)
- How to Host a Mardi Gras Party :: One of the most colorful holidays celebrated in America and all over the world. (Kidzworld)
Useful info and insights for life as a 'rent.
- It's Women's History Month! :: Check out Mighty Girl's 60 New Books and/or their free downloadable posters celebrating women in STEM.
- New Jersey Levels Up :: By becoming the fourth state (after New York, Rhode Island and California) to enact a paid family leave program. (Fatherly) Could Colorado be next?
- No Sleep 'Till Age Six :: New study shows that it takes six years after childbirth for new parents to resume a normal sleep schedule. (Fatherly)
Fun and -- shh, don't tell! -- educational things to do with kids)
- Four Leaf Clover Handprint Craft :: Make this Saint Patrick’s day handprint craft in the home or classroom. (Rhythms of Play)
- Embroidered Name Shirts :: Great DIY project to do with your kids or give as a gift. (Babyccino)
- How to Make a Cardboard Rollercoaster Car :: Ever wonder what you can do with a box? (Kids Activities Blog)