Parents warned of fake, explicit cartoon videos on YouTube Kids app
The BBC has issued a warning to parents about parody cartoon videos circulating YouTube that are not suitable for children.
The Outline published an article by Laura June entitled, "YouTube has a fake Peppa Pig problem," in which June described finding her daughter watching disturbing parodies of the popular English children's program.
June observed that the YouTube Kids app, especially for children, makes efforts to filter out adult-themed content. In this case, though, parody videos that look exactly like children's shows like Peppa Pig, Doc McStuffins, Thomas the Tank Engine and Frozen -- but they feature violent or sexual storylines.
"Peppa Pig is a show for preschoolers," June wrote. "Knock-off Peppa Pig is the stuff of nightmares."
June said these videos are different from parodies meant for adults. These terrifying videos are intentionally put into playlists for children with misleading tags and titles. Many of these channels have hundreds of videos and boast a million views -- so June argues they do this for ad revenue.
The BBC released a video to caution parents about videos in YouTube Kids with some screenshots and clips included:
One such YouTube channel that releases such content is Smile Kids TV. The creator, Stephen Rattigan, actually blames parents for their children watching his videos. In an interview with the Sun Online, he said parents shouldn't "let iPhones or iPads raise their kids."
"They either shouldn't be on iPads or you should be sitting with them while they're on it," he continued.
Rattigan, a father of three, started making the parodies for adults. "I'm driven mad by Peppa Pig in my house and how nice they were to each other, so I did a funny spin on it," he said. He would never, though, let his own children watch.
In addition to Smile Kids TV, The Sun notes other channels with disturbing videos are Lord Bad Baby, Toys 4 Fun!, Toys and Funny Kids Surprise Eggs and Superhero-Spiderman-Frozen.