The recently released video streaming app from Google meant for children called YouTube Kids received numerous complaints that the service contains many inappropriate videos that are not safe for kids.
This caused a coalition of child and consumer advocacy groups to send a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission in order to solve the issue. The complaints were issued last month.
According to the advocacy groups, some of the videos that on the YouTube Kids app, which was supposed to be filtered, are extremely inappropriate for the target of the app which consists exclusively of young children.
But even though the app has a protective filter, there are videos that depict violent behavior, the use of weapons and how-to videos showing how to make toxic substances like chlorine gas.
One of the videos is an ad for protective glasses which features a nail gun that shoots into the eye of a mannequin; another disturbing video shows a man who juggles knives and chainsaws.
According to the advocacy groups for children the YouTube Kids app also shows ads for alcoholic products, pornographic discussions, jokes about drugs and pedophilia and explicit sexual language.
The members of the coalition wrote a letter to Donald Clark, secretary of the Federal Trade Commission in which they complain about the fact that Google has “deceptive practices” and lied to the parents who bought the YouTube Kids app only because Google promised that the content shown would be strictly filtered so that the children won’t see any disturbing material.
But according to the letter sent Tuesday, the members of the coalition discovered even more disturbing content than they initially found.
The YouTube Kids app was launched at the beginning of 2015, in February and is available for both Android and iPhone platforms.
The app features short videos that were supposed to be algorithmically filtered in order to be child-friendly, according to Google.
Google said that a special team manually verifies the videos to make sure all of them are appropriate for kids.
According to Google, the YouTube Kids app was supposed to eliminate the videos that could make the parents nervous.
However, the advocacy groups found numerous inappropriate videos shown in the app that are far from being “family friendly”, as the letter said.
The members of the FTC looked into the issue and took it very seriously. According to Jeff Chester, executive director at the Center for Digital Democracy in Washington D.C, by breaking their initial promise, Google is deceiving its customers.
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