The hashtag warning that has parents on high alert
A warning regarding Children’s YouTube videos has parents on high alert.
It’s called #Elsagate and parents are using it on online forums and social media to advise others of the disturbing videos that are going around with popular kids’ characters like Elsa, Spiderman, and several others engaging in sexual acts, violent scenes, or even drug use.
Like many kids her age, nine-year-old Dulce Maria enjoys her screen time on YouTube.
“I enjoy watching slime videos, cooking, and crafts,” says Dulce Maria.
“She can watch videos or have screen time but it has to be supervised,” says Dulce’s mom Maria Hernandez. “Normally she’s pretty good about telling me what she’s watching and what she’s doing.”
Parents, like Maria have taken to various threads and forums cautioning others of these disturbing videos.
And they’re surprisingly easy to find, several coming up on YouTube by just typing words like Elsa or Spiderman.
“An image speaks more than a thousand words,” says licensed counselor Ernesto Atkinson. “Actions speak louder than words.”
Atkinson believes videos like these lay a foundation for devious behavior at an early age, having children believe those inappropriate actions are okay.
“I think parents should be more aware and start talking about what this implies and explain to them the reason why it’s not appropriate,” says Atkinson.
We reached out to the video sharing site about the issue and they sent us this statement:
“We’re always looking to improve the YouTube experience for all our users and we ask our community to flag any video that they believe may violate our community guidelines. Additionally, we recently updated our advertising policy to clearly indicate that videos depicting family entertainment characters engaged in inappropriate behaviors are not eligible for advertising on YouTube.”
It’s warnings like these that keep Maria vigilant of her child’s screen time and open to those conversations.
If you have a young avid YouTube watcher, there is a restricted mode that parents can control. YouTube also recommends that you get involved by flagging content. Their team can then review the video for removal.