Last week an acquaintance asked me how a parent might protect their kids, at least a bit, from some of the more inappropriate content that YouTube may show to young children. Like so much in the social media world, YouTube is fun to use and filled with amazing and seemingly unlimited content, but the best guides are parents and teachers who are confident and careful users.
The best guidance I’ve found is at the Common Sense Media site. The organization’s YouTube and Your Kids page contains explanations, suggestions, and a link to a parent handout about YouTube. YouTube also has a Parent Resources page on its site, developed in collaboration with Common Sense Media.
When your children use YouTube, it’s easy to turn on the Safety Mode using the link at the bottom of the page (see illustration above). To keep Safety Mode on permanently one needs to be a registered user (easy to do) and signed-in to YouTube. Check out this YouTube video about the Safety Mode. (Remember that no safety mode or filter works perfectly.) The YouTube safety issues page addresses other questions, though the location could a be a lot more user-friendly. Also check out the YouTube Community Guidelines page.
More About YouTube
- Kids are supposed to be 13 to use it independently.(Read the recent NYTimes story about underage Facebook users.)
- Check out the YouTube viewing history.
- Learn lots of interesting facts about YouTube with this image from Social Media Graphics.
- When the safety mode is turned on and someone sends a video with content that is inappropriate for the safety mode, you cannot see that content.
- YouTube has an official, somewhat esoteric, blog. Unless a person is a YouTube fanatic, this is not a blog for daily reading, but interesting bits of information can be posted here.