Currently, YouTube is localized in 25 countries across 43 languages making it the second largest social media site just behind Facebook.
That being said, around the world, when someone wants to document their child’s first steps or showcase the talent no one knew they had, they do not reach for a point-and-shoot camera, they reach for their laptop, smart phone or video camera. And in many cases, they promptly upload their video to YouTube to give friends, families and strangers the opportunity to view and comment on it.
And as everyone knows, the video streaming frenzy is not exclusive to adults. YouTube allows children as young as 13-years-old create an account and upload their videos to share with the world.
Furthermore, a large number of parents use YouTube as their personal and family video library uploading clips of their children from the good, the bad to the ugly.
In fact, some of the most popular videos on YouTube have been of children doing silly things or displaying their amazing abilities. For example, to date more than 400 million people have watched the video “Charlie bit my finger – again!” in which a baby bites his brother’s finger a few times. And more than 100 million tuned in to view “David After Dentist” in which a father records his son saying outrageous things and slurring after being under the influence of anesthesia at the dentist.
There are many opinions as to whether or not children should be featured in videos or should be allowed to have a YouTube account at such a young age. Especially when you consider the number of child predators and stalkers the Internet has unleashed.
But there are a few things parents can do to help protect their children who have a YouTube account. Here is a list of tips and resources to help make it a safer environment.
Create Your Own YouTube Account
It is easy and free to set up a YouTube account. By having an account of your own, you will have access to all of the areas of the site to see the various functions and features available. You will also be able to get a feel for whether or not you think it is an appropriate site for your child to have access to and utilize on a regular basis.
Explore, Explore, Explore
The best way to know the types of videos and comments that are on YouTube is to play and explore the site, free 1000 youtube views trial. Start by watching one video, and with the number of related and recommended videos that appear you will quickly discover how easy it is to end up spending hours on the site. Read the types of tags and comments other viewers and video posters write.
Help Set-Up Your Child’s Account
Children ages 13 to 17 require adult consent to set up a YouTube account. But it is very easy for a child to lie about their age and set up an 18 and older account. Therefore, it is a good idea to setup up your child’s YouTube account with them and let them know you will be monitoring their activity.
Utilize the Safety Mode Function
YouTube offers a feature called Safety Mode that is an opt-in account setting. By opting in to it, videos with potentially objectionable content or age restrictions will not show up in video searches, related videos, playlists, shows and movies. Safety Mode is not 100 percent accurate, but it does help filter out a good deal of inappropriate videos.
Discuss the Dos and Don’ts of YouTube with Your Children
Once your child has an account, they will understandably be very excited to post their first video and share it with their friends. But it is important for them to know a few things that are off limits when sharing their videos, including no nudity, foul language, images of license plates, and images of your home, school or even their bedrooms.
Turn on Privacy Settings
There are millions and millions of YouTube users, so you never know who is watching. Therefore, it is a good idea to explain privacy settings with your child. You can choose to mark your videos as “private” rather than “public” which prevents unknown people from watching them.
Flag Inappropriate Videos
Every YouTube video has a flag icon that allows users to mark videos with inappropriate content. Once a video has been flagged, YouTube staff members review it and remove it if it is truly unacceptable.
Monitor Your Child’s Video Postings and Viewing History
Although no parent wants to feel as though they are “spying” on their child, it is important to monitor their activity for their own safety. You can see videos they have viewed by going into the “Account” section and clicking on the “History.” If they have cleared the history, you can take a look at their subscriptions and favorites to get an indication of their favorite YouTube channels.
YouTube is a wonderful entertainment resource for both children and adults with an expansive selection of videos from cartoons to music. And with the proper knowledge and settings in place, it can be a safe environment to enjoy and connect with friends and family.