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Old 07 November 2017, 04:54 AM
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Gutter Monkey Gutter Monkey is offline
 
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Computer Automated youtube kids content

Here's a good article about the proliferation and disturbing weirdness of those bizarre youtube kids videos that you've probably stumbled over, things like 'finger family song' (over 15 million hits) and all those videos about Elsa from Frozen going to the dentist (over 1 million hits) and seemingly unlimited variations of Spiderman and Lightning McQueen and Minions singing nursery rhymes or being buried or being kidnapped by a gorilla etc etc etc.. There are hundreds of millions of these videos on youtube and although most of their views (and many of their comments) are via bots and not actual human viewers there's a huge number of actual children watching them over and over. Most of the videos are pretty harmless but there's a sizable chunk that are somewhat disturbing and even a whole bunch that are disturbingly violent or sexualized. It's a weird weird corner of the internet that isn't really under anyone's control and is growing day by day.

https://medium.com/@jamesbridle/some...t-c39c471271d2
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Old 07 November 2017, 06:45 AM
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ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
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Our general rule is you can watch what you want if you watch it with one of us. Then they don't want to watch it if it's really weird. Every now and then we do have to say, uh, no, this is not appropriate. dd likes anything spooky and weird but if it starts to look deranged she doesn't want to have anything to do with it.

The down side of our rule is I have watched just about every stupid kids show imaginable over these many years. I mean, I could write loads of essays about Bob the Builder or the Play Doh station. Takes up a lot of brainspace needlessly. On the other hand, we've had quite a few laughs over the years talking and joking while we're watching together. Sometimes they introduce wonderful things to me. Sometimes I introduce some to them.

I know what kinds of things are out there and so do they and they get good at avoiding the crap because if it's crap, I just say "this is crap... Spiderman cannot get pregnant with M&Ms. They should have made it gummy worms...." (Don't ask.) It's a risk but there is the other risk that they watch worthless TV and don't learn anything or get their heads filled with whatever crap the TV channels are shovelling. (Not Japan NHK, which has some really awesome kids content. Some of the other channels do to. Actually, I've come to really like lots of kids media!) Sometimes we have conversations and I just think, holy guacamole this child has learned so much from YouTube. (And take it from me, once they discover YouTube, they aren't that interested in broadcast TV. I get that. Who would be?) So I recommend letting them pick and sitting down to watch with them, talking with them about what we're watching.

Last edited by ganzfeld; 07 November 2017 at 06:53 AM.
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Old 07 November 2017, 07:24 AM
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ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
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Roll eyes

Excerpt from the OP:
Quote:
And yet, there is something weird about a group of people endlessly acting out the implications of a combination of algorithmically generated keywords: “Halloween Finger Family & more Halloween Songs for Children | Kids Halloween Songs Collection”, “Australian Animals Finger Family Song | Finger Family Nursery Rhymes”, “Farm Animals Finger Family and more Animals Songs | Finger Family Collection - Learn Animals Sounds”, “Safari Animals Finger Family Song | Elephant, Lion, Giraffe, Zebra & Hippo! Wild Animals for kids”, “Superheroes Finger Family and more Finger Family Songs! Superhero Finger Family Collection”, “Batman Finger Family Song — Superheroes and Villains! Batman, Joker, Riddler, Catwoman” and on and on and on. This is content production in the age of algorithmic discovery — even if you’re a human, you have to end up impersonating the machine.
Huh? It's just a normal kids show. I have no idea what he's going on about. Sheesh.
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Old 07 November 2017, 11:18 AM
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Well, whatever else you might say about it, that finger family video is clearly trying to teach children that the little finger is called the "baby finger". What kind of nonsensical infantilization is that?! And how will they ever understand Game of Thrones if they internalize it?!

I'm not sure what to make of the rest, really. It's easy to get the impression he went a bit mad from watching too much of this stuff. (I couldn't even get through most of the early examples he posted, which were clearly pretty much ordinary children's stuff, at least taken alone).

But he also definitely has a point that, structurally, it's impossible to moderate any system like that, and impossible to know the purpose behind the things that are on it (other than trying to make as much money with as little effort as possible). And also that the YouTube Kids app is clearly pretending to be something that it isn't (an equivalent of a children's TV channel, that you can happily leave your children to watch while you do something else, knowing that the content is appropriate - rather than constantly having to pay minute attention to what they're doing). And whoever else might be making money from this stuff, YouTube definitely is making a lot of money from it, without accepting any of the duties or responsibilities that go with that. (And with the same going for the rest of the usual suspects).

I don't even know that it would necessarily be bad to stop that sort of channel and replace it with something that has the usual sort of quality control that one would expect from traditional media. It's not censorship to do this - especially if it's made easier for people to set up their own, disconnected pages to put their own content on if they want to do so.

These sites keep saying they're only distribution networks and have no responsibility for the content, so making them stick to standards is no more "censorship" than it is if the local newsagent closes. I doubt most of the people making the more trollish or disturbing of those videos (or automating them) would still find it worthwhile to do so if they had to put them on their own, hosted site. If they wanted to, they could still do so relatively cheaply and easily, but they wouldn't get a share of any misappropriated ad revenue unless they'd actually earned it by getting enough people who really want to watch those things. And the "branded" channels would be fit for purpose.

I don't even see necessarily that it would be bad for YouTube in the long run - after all, traditional media did OK for a long time. It's just not what they want to do because it involves responsibility and effort and having to pay other people, rather than just automated money without consequence, as now.
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Old 07 November 2017, 01:31 PM
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We got sucked into youtube a few years ago when the niece who was living with us at the time got into those endless "egg opening" videos. There's probably another name for them but essentially they were variations on the theme of opening plastic easter eggs to find a toy inside. After the first one it was tedious (who am I kidding the first one was pretty tedious) but she loved them. No harm really but eventually she got bored on her own and moved on. We did stumble across some pretty sick videos out there masquerading as children's content. Now we just avoid youtube entirely.
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Old 07 November 2017, 04:03 PM
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The article's getting attention, anyway - here's a Guardian story about it, which includes a few (non-)responses from YouTube and comments from parents:

https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...e-school-abuse

YouTube's main point is that some of the videos he highlights aren't on YouTube Kids, and their "main site is explicitly for users aged 13 and up"; also that if somebody flags an inappropriate video and they review it and so on, they might take away the advertising revenue. Since half the point of the OP article is that the sheer volume of the stuff makes it impossible for a review process like that to work properly, that doesn't seem to me to address the issues.
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Old 07 November 2017, 05:03 PM
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My 6yr old daughter's favorite youtube videos are "Come Play with Me" which are scenes acted out by kids using Barbies and Disney Princess dolls, specifically Anna and Elsa. It sounds like the stupidest thing in the world, but she loves them. A couple of them have included bodily fluids, to the point where I ask "Is this one of the one's where she throws up or sticks her hands in the potty?" but nothing that crosses the line for us. I actually find some of them hilarious.

My 8 yr old son mainly watches Stampy and occasionally other game videos. For awhile, he became obsessed with FGTV which started out mainly as a family playing and talking about Skylanders. when that is all they were doing it was fine, but it morphed into a reality TV sort of thing where they featured all these other things they were doing in their lives, and it just got to the point where they were featuring things that were just stupid, and then they would try to top that with something even more ridiculous. We finally said "no more" and banned it.
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Old 07 November 2017, 06:52 PM
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I share all your pain...
My nieces watch these and more...

Lucky for me, if they have access to Disney Channel they watch that instead, so...

"You can spend all day on a swing eating a Baquette
But why doing boring things like that when there's the internet?"
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Old 09 November 2017, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HelloLlama View Post

My 8 yr old son mainly watches Stampy and occasionally other game videos. .
One of my nephews in particular is obsessed in gaming vlogs and let's plays. He sits there for hours watching somebody else play a game.

When he was a toddler he used to love watching footage of train journeys.

I have a soft spot in my heart for great quality children's entertainment. I go weak at the knees over beautiful illustrations in children's books and can't abide when creators or producers phone it in because it's 'just for kids' (like with the endless stream of 'That's not my...' books). The shows I used to watch as a kid helped shape my worldview and the ones that stayed with me stand the 'rewatch as an adult' test for quality. Kids often know when effort has been put in.

However... as much as we might want to instil a sense of wonder into children and scour for heart-felt quality entertainment for them, some kids just persist in liking really boring crap!

And who am I to judge? I like some really boring crap too! And when I was little I used to like watching the washing machine. Seeing other people's dirty underwear spin round and round was basically the equivalent of Youtube back then.
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Old 09 November 2017, 12:54 PM
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Don Enrico Don Enrico is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
I mean, I could write loads of essays about Bob the Builder or the Play Doh station.
Hear hear! Having said that, don't you agree that there is serious danger to Fireman Sam's and his colleagues' job security once Norman Price grows up and and leaves the town to go to college?

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Old 09 November 2017, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blatherskite View Post
Seeing other people's dirty underwear spin round and round was basically the equivalent of Youtube back then.
Have you ever taken psychedelic drugs? My theory is that being a baby or toddler is like being permanently on mushrooms.
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Old 09 November 2017, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Enrico View Post
Hear hear! Having said that, don't you agree that there is serious danger to Fireman Sam's and his colleagues' job security once Norman Price grows up and and leaves the town to go to college?

And in that vein I worry about the town the Paw Patrol lives in peopled as it is by such incredibly inept adults. What in the world is going to happen to that town when Ryder and his gang of pups grows up? Unmitigated disaster!
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Old 13 November 2017, 08:50 AM
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Gutter Monkey Gutter Monkey is offline
 
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The 'finger family' song is one of the super super popular kids songs that pops up in these weird videos extremely often, there's 11 million results if you search for it on youtube. I decided to scroll down the search results and see what came up. These all appeared fairly early in the search:










Of course the search results I got would be affected by my previous search results (which might reveal more about me than I'd prefer ) so not everyone will get the same videos on their list but it wouldn't take much for a kid to click through and find just one of the those videos, after which all the others will also start appearing in their search results.

I'd be interested to see if anyone else gets videos like that if they search just for 'finger family'.
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Old 13 November 2017, 11:56 AM
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A youtuber I enjoy did a video a while back on this strange phenomenon (video is NWS, I haven't watched this vid in a while but he's usually remarkably vulgar/obscene with his word choice). I imagine it's only gotten worse since then.
My fiance works in a pediatric hospital and has actually heard the song "in the wild" multiple times while kids are watching things on tablets/phones, and I've had one student I was working with start singing it one day. I don't know for sure that his kids or mine ever came across the disturbing videos, maybe they've only seen the "safe" ones, but it's still bizarre to think about.
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