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  • YouTube hosts thousands of disturbing videos featuring promotional images from popular children’s characters, according to recent analysis.
  • Some of the videos were targeted at children on YouTube. Many of the videos tap into popular keywords.
  • YouTube says it screens videos to pull inappropriate ones from its children-oriented YouTube Kids app, and encourages people to flag any videos they view as inappropriate on its platforms.
  • But writer James Bridle, who highlighted the problem in a recent Medium post, said that the way the company’s site is designed, it actually encourages the production and posting of such videos.

Parents who let their kids watch YouTube unattended might want to pay closer attention to what they’re viewing.

YouTube is serving up to kids thousands of disturbing videos, many from obscure producers, that are sprinkled in with kid-friendly ones from well-known studios, according to analysis in a recent Medium post and past reporting from the BBC. At first glance, the inappropriate videos can be hard to distinguish from the benign ones, often involving well-known characters and themes. But they can often be violent or involve abuse to kids, and many appear to be generated automatically and cheaply in an apparent attempt to profit off the sometimes indiscriminate tastes of younger kids.

“The architecture [that Google and YouTube] have built to extract the maximum revenue from online video is being hacked by persons unknown to abuse children, perhaps not even deliberately, but at a massive scale,” wrote writer and artist James Bridle, who took to Medium on Monday to help sound the alarm about the continuing phenomenon.

YouTube KidsIn a statement to Business Insider, YouTube said that while it is looking out for younger viewers, it’s trying to keep its site as open as possible.

“We’re always looking to improve the YouTube experience Read More Here