YouTube Kids shocks mom and son as video featuring Thomas the Tank Engine threatens to ‘kill the lot of you’
Hannah Bishop, a mom in Tennessee, found her two-year-old son watching a scary parody of “Thomas the Tank Engine” on YouTube Kids. Instead of singing his happy song, the character’s face turned dark and aggressive. In the video, Thomas, the usually friendly blue train, threatened, “I’m gonna kill the lot of you.”
As noted in the British Daily Mail, Bishop expressed concern that this type of content could get past Youtube’s content moderation policies and be accessible on its platform for children.
“I don’t even have words for this,” Bishop wrote in a Tik-Tok post. “Needless to say, we are looking for a different subscription for Brody to watch,” she continued.
In the comments section of Bishop’s post, various other parents sounded off about inappropriate content being available on Youtube Kids. “YouTube Kids gives me the creeps so, so bad. I got rid of it within a week of putting it on kids iPad,” said one.
Fox News Digital reached out to YouTube for comment. A spokesperson explained, “This video was found to be violative of our content policies and has been removed from the YouTube Kids app. We built YouTube Kids to create a safer environment for kids to explore their interests and curiosity. Videos available in the app are determined by a mix of algorithmic filtering, user input and human review.”
The YouTube representative added, “Parents can also flag or even block a video or channel when they don’t want their kids to see that video in the YouTube Kids app.”
According to YouTube, the company’s system is regularly tested and fine-tuned but that no algorithm is perfect. The site suggested that parents flag any inappropriate videos found on YouTube Kids or simply block the channel.
In February, an in-depth review by Fox News Digital, found that YouTube Kids featured a variety of content including drag queens and queer kids, as well as discussions about LGBTQ activism, intersectionality, and White privilege.
As noted at the time, “Fox News Digital found at least 120 videos focusing on gender and sexuality, much of which came from the ‘Queer Kids Stuff’ page.”