Fresh outrage as investigation unearths yet more unsafe content on YouTube Kids

Fresh outrage as investigation unearths yet more unsafe content on YouTube Kids

YouTube has been forced to apologise after a CBBC Newsround investigation unearthed disturbing footage on the site’s supposedly safeguarded YouTube Kids app.

Content included a guide to sharpening knives, images of bloodied clowns and footage of popular cartoon characters in a burning plane.

Google spokesperson Katie O’Donovan said that the company was "very, very sorry for any hurt or discomfort" the videos had caused.

Added the site: "We have seen significant investment in building the right tools so people can flag that [content], and those flags are reviewed very, very quickly. We're also beginning to use machine learning to identify the most harmful content, which is then automatically reviewed."

It also reiterated that it is committed to ensuring YouTube remains an open platform, although admitted that this "comes with real challenges because the content is uploaded and it is live", adding: "It is a difficult balance to get right. It is a difficult environment because things are moving so, so quickly."

All of this comes after YouTube has endured a string of content scandals dating all the way back to 2015. It has repeatedly promised to clean up its platform.

It’s no surprise then that the mainstream media are leaping on the news. The Sun says that YouTube “has failed to learn its lesson”. The Daily Mail, meanwhile, is running with the headline “YouTube Kids app is STILL showing disturbing videos”.