A YouTube Kids App In The Crosshairs

Children's programming on television it's regulated by the FCC. Stations and networks have responsibilities. They're held to a standard. What happens online -- in your computer or on your tablet -- can be much different because it's not regulated. For example, an app called "YouTube Kids" designed for toddlers to watch posted videos. The videos on this app are supposed to be for kids as young as three and some are, but in examples pulled by two child advocacy groups looking for the Federal Government to crack down on Google some of what has been posted is more for grownup eyes and ears. Google owns YouTube and YouTube Kids.

Jeff Chester is the Executive Director of the Center for Digital Democracy. That's one of two groups wanting a Federal crackdown on YouTube Kids. Says Chester, "Instead of creating something that will protect children Google has, we think almost purposely, created a system that puts children in harm's way."

Chester says the groups have sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission asking for action against Google for deceptive practices. He says they haven't lived up to what the app promises and that's to be safe for kids.

Chester adds, "The most troubling thing we want the Federal Trade Commission to address today is that this app allows children to access content that is objectionable and hurtful and potentially harmful."

He says some of the postings they've found include:

*Explicit language

*unsafe behaviors

*family violence


*child suicide jokes

*and pedophilia

In a statement Tuesday, Google said, "We work to make the videos in YouTube Kids as family-friendly as possible and take feedback very seriously. Anyone can flag a video and these videos are manually reviewed 24/7 and any videos that don't belong in the app are removed."

Chester says the Federal Trade Commission says it will investigate the complaints.

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