Keep your child safe on YouTube

What’s the problem?

  • Videos that look like they’re child-friendly can include violent or disturbing content, and it’s difficult for YouTube to catch all of these videos before children see them. They might be suggested videos, or appear in search results
  • There’s a risk that adults can use YouTube to contact children and ‘groom’ them into sharing explicit pictures or videos of themselves
  • Children can share personal information which could put them in danger, such as which street they live on or their school

5 steps to take

1. Turn on ‘restricted mode’ to help hide videos that may have inappropriate content

On the website:

  • Click on the icon in the top-right corner that represents your YouTube account
  • In the drop-down menu look for ‘Restricted Mode’
  • Toggle ‘On’

In the iPhone and iPad app:

  • In the top right, tap your profile picture
  • Tap ‘Settings’
  • Tap ‘Restricted Mode Filtering’
  • Tap ‘Strict’ to turn restricted mode on

In the Android app:

  • Tap the 3 dots icon in the top right
  • Tap ‘Settings’
  • Tap ‘Restricted Mode Filtering’
  • Turn it on

2. Turn off autoplay and manage recommendations to help stop your child seeing upsetting or disturbing videos by accident

In a video page, toggle the ‘Autoplay’ option to off. Depending on your device, this may show in the top right of the screen, or below the video.

You can also use the ‘Don’t recommend channel’ option to remove channels from your recommendations. To do this:

  • Click the 3 dots next to a video on the homepage
  • Select ‘Don’t recommend channel’

3. Tell your child not to share any personal information with others

This is anything that could identify them or give away their location, like the name of the street they live on, their school name or their school uniform.

4. Check for comments on videos your child uploads

YouTube says it has disabled comments on videos of children, but do still regularly check for comments made on any videos your child shares. Look out for comments asking for more specific videos or personal information

5. Flag inappropriate videos and comments to YouTube

Use the ‘flagging feature’ to prompt YouTube staff to check content and decide whether to block or restrict it in line with its community guidelines:

  • On the page with the video, tap the 3 dots (‘more’) icon next to a video or comment
  • Select ‘Report’ (this is a flag icon in Android and iPhone and iPad apps)
  • Select the reason for flagging, and provide any extra details you think will help YouTube staff

Sources

Reporting and enforcement, YouTube

YouTube bans comments on all videos of children, BBC News

Exclusive: adults using YouTube to groom children into making inappropriate videos, 4 News

I’m worried about the related videos that show up next to what my kid watches on YouTube. Is there any way to filter out what shows up in that section?, Common Sense Media