How to make YouTube safe for children
YouTube has a recommended age limit of 13 years, but a lot of younger children use the website. Kids and Media gives you three simple tips to make Youtube safer for children.
If you, as a parent, allow your children to watch videos on YouTube, there are some simple measures you can take in order to ensure that your children don’t watch inappropriate videos.
1. Activate the safety mode.
At the very bottom of the YouTube front page, you have the possibility to turn the safety mode “On”. Safety Mode gives users the option to choose not to see mature content that they may find offensive, even though it's not against YouTube Community Guidelines. When you opt in to Safety Mode, videos with mature content or that have been age-restricted will not show up in video search, related videos, playlists, shows and films. While no filter is 100% accurate, YouTube use community flagging, hide objectionable comments and use porn-image detection to identify and hide inappropriate content. Safety Mode on YouTube does not remove content from the site, but rather keeps it off the page for users who opt in.
2. Keep the computer in a family room.
Carefully consider the placement of the computer that your children are using. If the computer is kept in a family room (such as the livingroom), this might have a positive effect on the children in regard to accountability, as well as making it easier for you as a parent to notice if your children come across an inappropriate video clip.
3. Talk to your children.
Have a conversation with your children regarding the use of YouTube:
a) What do they like to watch?
b) Are there any kind of video clips that make you feel uncomfortable?
c) What do you do if you come across a video clip that is nasty or makes you feel uncomfortable?
d) Is it OK to comment on video clips? What is important to have in mind if you want to comment on a video clip?
A good alternative to YouTube is ZuiTube, an American website for children that aims to be a cleaner version of YouTube, by screening all its videos before making them available. All videos on ZuiTube come from and are powered by YouTube. The difference, however, is the fact that the ZuiTube team of editors, which consists of parents and teachers across the US, review all the videos before they're included in ZuiTube.
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