Tech

Google Employees Say They Don’t Let Their Kids Watch YouTube Unsupervised

REUTERS/Jim Young

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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Google employees say they don’t let their children watch YouTube without parental guidance as the company wrestles with how to make its platform family friendly, Bloomberg reported Monday.

Four people at Google told Bloomberg the sentiment was widespread at the Silicon Valley company. Another employee said frustration with YouTube is high, leaving some to suggest the video-streaming company spin-off from Google altogether.

Nearly every child in the country uses YouTube, according Insight Strategy Group, a market research firm that surveyed American families about online behavior. “Basically, every kid who doesn’t live in Amish country,” Sarah Chumsky, vice president for the firm, told Bloomberg.

Bloomberg’s report referenced YouTube Kids, an app created four years ago that filters videos from the main site specifically for children under thirteen. The app is designed to shield under-age children from explicit content. (RELATED: ‘Every Parent Should Be Appalled’: Sen Hawley Takes On YouTube Over Algorithm Child Predators Exploit) 

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki attends a conference at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, in Cannes, France, June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

The report comes after a June 3 New York Times article demonstrated that a YouTube algorithm was directing content of children in bathing suits to users who watched other videos of prepubescent kids. The company nixed several of the videos child predators were exploiting but left up others after the NYT alerted company officials of the problem.

YouTube was caught with a similar problem in May, when The Daily Caller News Foundation reported that the comments sections on videos with minors in them were being used to exploit children. YouTube said they were taking measures to eliminate comments from videos featuring minors, yet the effort will take months, according to TheDCNF report.

YouTube says it is committed to finding a solution. “I’ve been really clear that that responsibility is my No. 1 priority,” CEO Susan Wojcicki said at a June 12 conference.  “There is a lot of work for us to do. I acknowledge that, but I also know that we have tremendous tools at our fingertips that we can continue to invest in to do a better job.”

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