Do-gooders complain that YouTube Kids app indecently exposes Michael Jackson’s crotch
Two child and consumer advocacy groups have made an official complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleging that Google’s YouTube Kids application has been showing kids content they believe is inappropriate.
The app, launched with fanfare back in February, offers primarily a curated variety of videos that are supposed to be safe for small children.
The complaint from the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Center for Digital Democracy is said to allege however that the app serves content that is “extremely disturbing and/or potentially harmful for young children to view.”
The non-kid friendly content is said to include explicit sexual language in cartoons, jokes about pedophilia and drug use, adult discussions about family violence, pornography, and child suicide, and, horror of all horrors, a dance tutorial explaining how to dance like Michael Jackson, complete with crotch grab.
“Google promised parents that YouTube Kids would deliver appropriate content for children, but it has failed to fulfill its promise,” a spokesman said in a statement.
Ironically though none of the content provided in the complaint came from the curated part of the application, but via its search function; that’s right, your two-year-old who can apparently type at 200 words per minute would actually have to go looking for it.
Oh, and if parents are worried that their precious little darlings might be traumatised by stumbling across someone explaining how to grab their crotches Michael Jackson style in a dance move and end up in years of non-gender specific, politically correct counselling, the kicker is: the search feature can be turned off.
Perhaps the solution for Google to protect itself from complaints by professional complainers who intentionally go looking to complain and whine about anyone they believe be inappropriate, is to simply permanently disable the search function, and label the product “not appropriate for do-gooders.”
The FTC confirmed that it had received the complaint but gave no indication as to whether they would be proceeding with a full investigation into the complaint.
Image credit: 26248774@N05/Flickr/CC by 2.0
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