November 10, 2014

Porn on YouTube: What you need to know

Porn is all over the Internet, so it’s no surprise that it’s on the world’s most popular video-sharing site: YouTube.

This is a real concern as most users are bombarded with unwanted recommendations for porn videos, including the many children who frequent the site. When these kids, and other users, go looking for funny cat videos, they cannot avoid being offered hardcore porn.

We come across this problem regularly within our organization, as we are unable to link directly to YouTube for fear that our supporters will encounter porn when they watch our uplifting and informative videos.

YouTube claims to filter content, but they don’t, really. They rely mostly on users to report inappropriate content, and, even then, they often don’t comply with the removal request.

So what can be done?

Parents need to be aware of what is on YouTube and monitor what their children are viewing. It is very easy to run across hardcore pornography on the same site dedicated to instructional videos and movie trailers. Have open conversations with kids about inappropriate content and come up with a plan for when they come across it. A good resource to use is Good Pictures Bad Pictures by Kristen Jensen, an age-appropriate book for kids that explains simply the dangers of pornography and how to deal with it.

“If you see something, say something.” Don’t go looking for pornographic materials, but if you happen to see it, flag and report it to YouTube. While this might not be 100% effective, it may still be helpful in cleaning up some of the content out there.

Very importantly, if you come across something you suspect to be child pornography, report it to the CyberTipline at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, or to your local FBI office.

Learn more about the federal laws against obesity on the Internet at our War on Illegal Pornography project page.

Further Reading