The Internet is Coming for Our Children – Do Not Read Until Monday

THINK of the CHILDREN! …And Do Not Read Until Monday.


The Internet is coming for our children

It’s widely accepted that the Internet can be a digital garbage pile full of trash people, and that’s speaking from the viewpoint of adulthood. But the past couple weeks, the Internet has been shown to be open to treachery against children, and in places marketing themselves as safe spaces.


First, there’s YouTube. Now, previously, YouTube has come under fire for

OK, so what’s new? Last week, a creator called out the platform for recommending videos with inappropriate comments, resulting in an advertiser backlash. To its credit, YouTube moved quickly once it was alerted, removing 400 channels it said engaged in the predatory activity, as well as tens of millions of suspect comments.

This week, the platform went one step further by closing comments for “tens of millions” of videos, mostly featuring or focused toward children, due to the threat. The channels allowed to have comments – a core feature of the social web – will be required by YouTube to actively moderate their videos.

And let’s not get started on the Momo hoax… Though YouTube stated the kid-targeting “challenge” doesn’t exist, it went ahead and demonetized those videos as a precaution. More like demon-itized though, right? Yeesh.


OK, well what about this TikTok thing we hear the kids like? Well, in spite of – or thanks to – its surging popularity, it too now finds itself a platform for predation. The upstart app addressed such allegations by developing a comment filter for videos, and pushed for awareness of its safety and privacy features.

Additionally, TikTok began deleting the accounts of users it deemed underage, which included many of-age users. While you might think/hope this was related to protecting children from predators, it’s actually a result of the FTC suing its pants off* for collecting kids’ data.


And lest we think these issues don’t affect apps people spend an average of an hour a day on**, Instagram was used in 32 percent of “grooming” cases by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in the UK.


Then, Facebook admitted nearly 1 in 5 of users of its “market research program” spyware were teens, despite a previous claim less than 5% were.


All these stories have a number of implications. For parents, I mean, watch the 🦆 out for your kids on these apps. The general Internet user can report suspicious behavior as well. But also, brands must be stewards of their own content for moderation, and make informed decisions when it comes to where to advertise.


*$5.7 million, but they’re really, really cool pants.

** each!


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