"Remember, kids, sideways for attention, longways for results. End it." That's what a man, pantomiming suicide says in a disturbing 9 second clip that is spliced into the middle of a cartoon meant for children.
It was readily available on the YouTube and YouTube Kids App for some time before a pediatrician in Gainesville, FL, Dr. Free Hess, made the company aware of it.
Most of these videos rack up millions of views, and this video, which has now been taken down, is just one of thousands of videos with messages of self-harm or disturbing content. In fact, we've done stories about it before.
The vast majority of these videos go unnoticed. In fact, typically the only way they are noticed is if an adult is watching the videos with a child. Dr. Hess has written a blog post about these videos, warning parents of what their children might be exposed to while the parents aren't looking.
See her blog post here.
In her post, Dr. Hess says that this is not a small problem. "Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death in individuals between the ages of 10 and 34," she writes, "and the numbers of children exhibiting some form of self-harm is growing rapidly." Dr. Hess says she wants YouTube to be held personally responsible for taking these videos down.
But it's not just up to YouTube, she writes. "We have to start doing something NOW and we should start by educating ourselves, educating our children, and speaking up when we see something that is dangerous for our children. We also need to fight to have the developers of social media platforms held responsible when they do not assure that age restrictions are followed and when they do not remove inappropriate and/or dangerous material when reported."
If you need a how to on flagging inappropriate content click here.