Many YouTube users say they encounter false or ‘troubling’ videos, study finds

Artur Debat

Disturbing content is still a problem on YouTube.

More than 60 percent of YouTube users said they sometimes encounter videos that contain “troubling behavior,” are “obviously false” or “unsuitable for children,” according to a Pew Research Center report released on Wednesday. 

The report also found that more than a third of parents regularly let children aged 11 or younger watch videos on YouTube, even though YouTube says the platform isn’t intended for kids younger than 13.

Google-owned YouTube has had problems with troubling videos on its dedicated children’s platform, called YouTube Kids. Last year, users of YouTube Kids found fake videos with disturbing content, including popular cartoon characters engaged in violent acts. (There are ways to make the platform safer for your kids, which you can read about here.) 

Researchers also found that roughly half of YouTube users go to the platform for instructional videos and consider the service an important part of that aspect of their lives. The report was based on a survey of 4,594 adults in the US conducted earlier this year.

Neither YouTube nor Pew Research Center immediately responded to requests for comment. 

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