YouTube Kids has reached the terrible twos. Released in 2015, the free app seeks to eliminate the inappropriate parts of YouTube by offering only cartoons, educational shows, and other kid-friendly content. As the Internet is the Internet, people̵
Is not it safe to park your kid in front of YouTube Kids during dinner? To put the problem into perspective, Google told me that less than 0.005 percent of YouTube Kids' videos have been removed in the last 30 days.
No automated system, including Google algorithms, is perfect, but the YouTube Kids app has some parental controls that can help reduce the risk of your child stumbling across objectionable content.
Aside from parental controls, one feature that can eliminate the risk is a playlist. It would be helpful to create a playlist of self-created videos. If your kids are like mine, they enjoy repeated visits to their favorite shows and would not mind limiting themselves to a playlist of pre-recorded videos.
That being said, here are a few steps you can take Make YouTube Kids a little less of a minefield.
Turn off search
YouTube Kids lets a child search by typing or speaking, but searching for videos has a greater number within reach. Turn off search and your child will recommend a smaller portion of Google-selected videos. According to The New York Times, "Most of the parent-tagged videos have recently been uploaded to YouTube by anonymous users named Kids Channel TV and Super Moon TV."
To turn off the search, tap . Lock icon bottom right, enter a passcode, tap Settings tap the profile of your child, and then turn off search settings . You can set up separate profiles for each of your children, which you can use to search for some but not others.
Set Personal Passcode
To access the settings, you must enter a four-digit passcode by simply entering the numbers displayed on the Only for Parents screen. If your child can read, you may want to set a custom passcode that will prevent them from entering the settings and re-enabling the search. On the "Parents only" screen you will find a button, my own access code .
Report and Block Unwanted Videos
If your child comes into the kitchen after finding a disturbing video, you can block it so it does not reappear later. You can also report it. YouTube Kids has a team that reviews videos tagged around the clock. I suggest that you block and report videos that you find offensive.
To block a video, tap the Tripoint button, and then tap Block . You can only block the video you're watching, or if you think the publisher is fishy, you can block the entire channel.
To mark a video, tap the triple point button of the video being played, and then Report . You may report this as inappropriate tone, inappropriate graphics or otherwise.
Switch to Nick Jr., Noggin, or another app
YouTube is not the only source of video content on the Internet. If the current situation at YouTube Kids has made a fool of you, switch to another kid-friendly video app like Nick Jr., Noggin or PBS Kids. You can also use Netflix – you can set upthat is separate from yours. Because you certainly do not want your kids to see Mindhunter more than you want them to drink Peppa Pig bleach
whitelist videos and channels
YouTube added extra parental controls in September 2018 to allow parentsand select exactly what videos and channels children can watch and disable their ability to search for content. To enable these new controls, open the YouTube Settings and select "Approved content only" in the child's profile. Then start selecting videos or channels that the child should access by tapping the "+" button.
Update, September 21, 2018: Added details about new whitelist controls.