As the biggest video sharing platform, YouTube is a very familiar name to every web user out there. It is a great tool for content creators who have mastered the art of creating viral videos and make a living from YouTube. But apart from entertainment purposes, YouTube is also a learning medium and this is why parent resort to it for teaching their kids.
Even though YouTube has some pretty sturdy rules regarding what type of content users can upload, there are some types of videos that are not meant for children to see. In the hopes of shielding their children from these videos, parents are very interested in how to make YouTube safe for children to use.
Content is not the only enemy
Although content is what most parents are interested in, there are other things that need to be taken into consideration. Take for example the comments, and we all know how “heated” those discussions can get. Ads are another thing to consider, and every parent that has had the misfortune to have their child buy things online by mistake will understand.
How to make YouTube safe for kids
The first line of defense comes from YouTube itself, in the form of a filter located on the bottom of the window. Users that want to block certain inappropriate content or comments can activate this filter and it will block some of flagged content on YouTube. Here’s how YouTube describes this measure:
Turn on safety mode to hide videos that may contain inappropriate content flagged by users and other signals. No filter is 100% accurate, but it should help you avoid most inappropriate content.
While this filter can help in some cases, users will quickly see that it won’t stay active for long, and for them to make this measure permanent, they will have to log in to their Google Account and turn on Safety Mode. Once this is done, the filter will remain active on that particular browser and can be turned off only by entering the account password.
Keep in mind that only activating YouTube’s own Safe Search won’t provide a very safe environment for children. The service will block some search queries and results, as well as block comments and replace certain words from comments, but at the end of the day, it’s not perfect.
Additional measures will help
Parents who want to provide a clean web browsing experience for their children will have to go the extra mile and use parental control software that will monitor their web browsing and provide parents with the tools they need to keep their kids safe online.
Additionally, porn and violence filters can be installed on the computer that the kids use. Search engines usually have mature content filters that can be turned on and filter results, but there are other measures concerned parents can implement. Also, it would be a good idea to stay with the kids while they are browsing the Internet. This is probably the best solution of all.
Watch and Create Playlists
If you’re still not satisfied with the way YouTube and other filters block content, then you can take matters into your own hands. Creating playlists on YouTube is fairly simple, and letting your child watch them is another way to go about this problem. Additionally, parents that are more tech savvy can implement these playlists on blank web pages and let the kids watch. This will eliminate the risk of the child clicking on other videos and straying off the path.
Some parents have also used services like KideoPlayer, which automatically creates a playlist of kids videos and plays them. The service does not have a “Suggested Videos” tab, so there is no risk of accidentally clicking on something else.
As you can see, the Internet is not a dangerous place for kids if you know how to limit their access to only age appropriate content. Of course, kids need adult supervision whilst browsing the web, but even so, there are lots of ways to make YouTube safe for kids.