The pediatrician said she was concerned to discover disturbing videos on YouTube instructing kids how to kill themselves spliced just moments into doctored clips popular with children. In order to distract him, she put on a cartoon on YouTube Kids, only to see roughly five minutes into the video a man walking into the picture, holding out his arm, and giving advice as to how to slit your wrist.
According to the Mirror, he said: "Children can find it hard to stand up to peer pressure but they must know it's perfectly okay to refuse to take part in crazes that make them feel unsafe or scared". After receiving no small amount of criticism over inappropriate content that escaped its filters, YouTube promised to apply more stringent screening of videos specifically aimed at kids.
I don't doubt that social media and things such as this are contributing, "she later told CNN".
In the parody video, a second character appears in time to stop the attempted suicide, with the narrator stating: "Why couldn't he just let me hang myself?"
Hess said she also found videos glorifying not only suicide but sexual exploitation and abuse, human trafficking, gun violence and domestic violence.
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There are parental controls available on YouTube, WXFT said, adding that users can report or flag inappropriate content as well as video potential unsafe to kids. "We are always working to improve our systems and to remove violative content more quickly, which is why we report our progress in a quarterly report and give users a dashboard showing the status of videos they've flagged to us".
One U.K. mother told the Daily Mail that her 8-year-old son began seeing Momo in some of the videos he watched. Flagged videos are manually reviewed 24/7 and any videos that don't belong in the app are removed.
"So anything that's not curated by the parent, we can not just assume they are not going to be viewing things that are 100 percent safe", said Rogers-Wood.
"In this next cartoon a young girl commits suicide with a knife after her father dies and her boyfriend breaks up with her", Hess said of another. "Remember, kids, sideways for attention, longways for results", he says and then walks off screen.
Anxious mums responded sharing their experiences of Momo, many said they are now changing the way their children watch their favourite TV shows like Peppa Pig.
Those who need help, including children, can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.