Scary New YouTube Video for Kids Featuring Splatoon Spreads Suicide Tips
The internet is a large part of many people’s lives, often touting innocuous memes and hilarious shareable videos. However, on the flipside of all this fun is a notorious dark side, one infamous for harmful trolling and unwarranted harassment. Unchecked, this kind of content can often wind up in front of unsuspecting children, such as a recent case involving a seemingly simple Splatoon video.
Nintendo’s popular color-coordinated shooter is typically devoid of any controversial material, but a recent YouTube video based on the game didn’t exactly share this quality. Depicting animated Splatoon characters, the cartoon carried on like anyone might expect, save for a short clip spliced into the video conveying suicide tips to its viewers.
The video’s brief interruption consists of online personality Filthy Frank, a YouTuber known for making purposefully strange content for a decidedly older audience. The clip in question features Frank acting out a depiction of suicide, mimicking cutting his wrists and saying, “Remember, kids, sideways for attention, longways for results. End it.” The video then returns to the remainder of the Splatoon scene.
The fan-made video recently gained attention through Dr. Free Hess, who discovered and shared it via the PediMom website. In her post, she cites her multi-month-long experience trying to remove the potentially harmful video and how it even managed to appear under YouTube Kids, a usually child-friendly portion of the site.
Following circulation of Hess’ story, the offending video has since been removed. Following the removal, YouTube issued a response to the long-reported video in an official statement with WFLA, saying:
We rely on both user flagging and smart detection technology to flag this content for our reviewers. Every quarter we remove millions of videos and channels that violate our policies and we remove the majority of these videos before they have any views. We are always working to improve our systems and to remove violative content more quickly, which is why we report our progress in a quarterly report and give users a dashboard showing the status of videos they’ve flagged to us.”
One can easily make the argument that kids shouldn’t browse YouTube without parental supervision, but the issue may prove to be a bit more complicated than that. Considering that this YouTube video was deemed appropriate enough to escape numerous reports and even feature on Youtube Kids, there’s probably plenty YouTube needs to do to keep something like this from happening again. This might be especially true with child exploitation concerns still fresh from the site’s last controversy.
What do you think? Do you think YouTube should be held accountable for the content they host, or should monitoring child-friendly content stay in the hands of parents? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day! For more headlines recently featured on DFTG, check out these next few news stories:
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Eric Hall2355 Posts
Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.