FOX43 Finds Out: Videos for kids that are far from kid-friendly

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa -- In the past few months, YouTube says it has shut down hundreds of user accounts and removed hundreds of thousands of inappropriate videos.

Some of those videos showed popular children's characters getting stabbed, shot or even killed.

There are also dozens of Reddit feeds about this issue with people using #Elsagate and plenty of those videos still exists on YouTube today.

FOX43 Finds Out looks at some of the videos to see how they end up under kid-friendly content and what parents can do to stop it.

"It`s hard. I know as a parent it`s great if we could just have like half an hour to get dinner ready or something and you`re just like please watch this! It`s also frustrating as a parent to have to face that scenario and I can empathize with that."

Nazli Hardy is a mother of two, who has dealt with her kids finding these types of videos online.

She's also an associate professor of computer science at Millersville University.

Hardy says many of these types of videos end up on YouTube kids, which should be filtered kids-only content, but those filters aren't foolproof.

"YouTube is such a big world out there and the algorithm doesn`t always work," said Hardy.

She says in order to secure more safe browsing for kids, you should consider looking into content filter services: like K9 Web Protection or Forcefield.

"These services will filter out inappropriate content in searches, inappropriate images, videos, it will also monitor what applications your children use."

Hardy also reccomends using kid safe search engines, like kiddle.co or safesearchkids.com when searching for videos or website for your kids to use.

"You should have the latest version of your browser with the latest security settings," said the associate professor.

Look at settings, preferences and add ones that allows your browser to be family safe.

As for the apps your kids want you to download on an iPad or Kindle, Hardy says make sure those apps are vetted and read the reviews.

"It`s a bit of a paradox because we`re talking about using technology to protect us from technology."

The reason those videos are showing up on YouTube kids in the first place is because YouTube is a user-driven platform.

That means, users upload their own videos and can tag content they find to be appropriate or not.

YouTube's CEO wrote a blog post this week about how the company plans to hire 10,000 new employees who will be human reviewers.

Those new hires will be responsible for flagging content like some of that videos that show up on YouTube kids, but are not exactly kid friendly.

Again, the Millersville University expert says you can't trust platforms like YouTube to always do the job of filtering and suggests having an open conversation with your family about what you can find online.

Here are some of the programs she recommends to add an extra layer of protection for your kids online:

Content Filtering Sites:

NetNanny: https://www.netnanny.com/

Mobicip: http://www.mobicip.com/

Symantac/ Norton Family: https://family.norton.com/web/

Qustodio Parental Control: https://www.qustodio.com/en/

Kaspersky Safe Kids: https://usa.kaspersky.com/safe-kids

KidsWatch: http://www.kidswatch.com/

ForceField: https://forcefield.me/browsing-controls/

K-9 Web Protection (free): http://www1.k9webprotection.com/

OpenDNS (free): https://www.opendns.com/home-internet-security/

Kid-Friendly App Services

PBS kids: http://pbskids.org/

Amazon FreeTime Apps on Kindle

ABCya.com:  http://www.abcya.com/

ABCmouse.com: https://www.abcmouse.com/