Parents like Staci Burns have noticed disturbing and/or sexual videos popping up on their childrens’ YouTube Kids feeds.
Burns spoke to the New York Times about the day her 3-year-old son Isaac watched a video featuring characters from the show “Paw Patrol” that is not officially licensed. The characters were shown getting into a fiery car crash in the video, which was called “PAW Patrol Babies Pretend to Die Suicide by Annabelle Hypnotized.”
Some characters died in the video, and another was hypnotized by a possessed doll.
Burns and other parents have complained about videos like this in recent months. Beloved cartoon characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Elsa from Frozen, Peppa Pig, and Spiderman are depicted in violent or lewd situations–Peppa Pig is shown drinking bleach in one video. Nickelodeon characters go to the strip club in another.
The videos are widely available to children using the YouTube Kids app. Many of the videos are animated, with the art resembling the official drawings.
One video is live-action, and appears to show a family playing rough with a young girl and even shaving her forehead, causing her to bleed and start crying. The video is called “Bad Baby with Tantrum and Crying for Lollipops Little Babies Learn Colors Finger Family Song.”
Several of the videos cited by the New York Times appear to have been scrubbed from the Internet.
According to the Times, a Disney spokesman said YouTube Kids had assured the company it was “working on ways to more effectively and proactively prevent this type of situation from occurring.”