YouTube allows you to watch, create and comment on videos. You can create your own YouTube account, create a music playlist, and create your own channel, which means you will have a public profile. YouTube allows live streaming. Although the age restriction to users with accounts is 13+, anyone of any age can view video's without using an account to do so.
1) Why do people use Youtube?
Debatably the most popular video holding website, YouTube has a huge variety of positives to it for all age ranges, from educational in the early years to DIY walkthroughs for adults wanting to get handy at home. An increasingly popular feature is a personal YouTube Channel which users can create themselves and upload their own personal video's to this channel, in the hope people will view and follow them. If this happens, more people see their video's and you can quickly become a public icon without leaving the bedroom.
2) What are the risks of Youtube?
YouTube is so vast, and so are it's risks. Unfortunately video's of extreme nature including gore, murders, extremism and sexual are uploaded everyday. These video's will be removed by YouTube but this takes time just because of the sheer volume of uploads every day. Also a huge problem is bullying via the comments system where people are extremely horrible to those posting their video's , to vulnerable users this can be extremely distressing. Lastly, another risk for really young children watching cartoons etc. on YouTube, users are creating gore and horrific video's that are posed to look like normal episodes of "Peppa Pig" and "Paw Patrol" for example. When reported it can take weeks to remove these video's.
3) What is the minimum age of Youtube?
The minimum age for a Youtube account is 13, but you can view video's without an account , therefore from any age.
4) What is the best way to keep safe on Youtube?
Read the information from the Help Centre below, monitor your children's devices and if they are thinking of using the app, discuss with them about boundaries and rules around the use of YouTube.
Youtube has a "Help Centre", within this is tips for parents which will give everything from the basics around Youtube to how to add and remove your own channels and edit the privacy settings within them.
1. Technical Barriers
Make sure to have some technical barriers in place, to filter out the worst stuff. Check your ISP’s filter is turned on, and if a child has their own device, that parental controls are enabled, especially for app installs.
If you have YouTube installed on a device or on your TV, review the settings to make sure the restricted mode is on. You may have to login with your Google account to lock this setting on.
2. Talk to them
Sitting down and chatting about the sort of videos they want to watch and how best to find good content is key to giving your child an awareness that they need to evaluate the quality of the content they are viewing.
You will probably find them watching something you don’t think they should be watching at some point, but this is an opportunity to tell them why they shouldn’t be watching it, and how to avoid such content in the future.
3. Avoid low quality content
YouTube and other platforms that deliver user generated content inevitably have lots of content that are of questionable quality and appropriateness, teach your children to evaluate the quality of the content using the title of the video, the author, and other indicators, you can normally tell within the first minute of the video whether the content is good quality.
An example of low quality content is videos name like “Top ten [something] ever” where the video is made up of still images that pan across the screen, and the voice over is computer generated. These types of videos are designed to be as simple as possible for the producers to make, using only images stolen off the Internet, and a script that has been copied and pasted from fact sites. They do basic research to get the video together, but will only use a limited number of sources, and won’t do any fact checking at all. Their aim is to get views so they can collect ad revenue.
Similarly there are now videos that are completely computer generated from a selection of templated 3D models and cheap backing music, where the characters just do weird things. Teach your child to avoid this kind of clickbait low quality trash.
4. Watch with them and monitor
It’s best not to leave your child to watch YouTube alone for long periods, but hey we are all busy right? Watch with them when you can, and when you can’t, pop in regularly and check that they are watching videos that are appropriate.
If you are logged into your account, you can also review what they have watched by looking at the history section of your account.
5. Limit Viewing Time
If you have ever used YouTube you will know that it is easy to surf from one video to the next, and before you know if you are watching something really pointless and you don’t know where the time went.
Your children will likely be even more engaged by all the content that is available. Limiting their time will encourage them to focus on watching more quality content, in the short period of time they have.