An Open Letter to Google

Posted by on January 11, 2011

Dear Friends at Google,

Why don’t you start a video sharing site just like YouTube…except for kids? So much of what’s on YouTube is way inappropriate for children (and that would be putting it mildly) and yet there it is, co-mingled with things that are fine for children.

I know you probably think it’s a parent’s job to keep their kids from watching inappropriate things on your esteemed video sharing site, and you wouldn’t be incorrect, but it’s just not as easy as it sounds.My daughter wants to watch videos about American Girl dolls that are made by other kids or cute animal videos but sure as sh¡t, something totally out of left field invariably shows up in the “related” videos column. A couple clicks and she could be watching videos that would make many adults ask themselves “WHY did my eyes have to see that???”

My point? Even the most vigilant parents need some help.

So. Back to my brilliant idea that I’m willing to GIVE YOU FOR FREE…

YouTubeKids—a site monitored by a volunteer crew of parents (or a paid crew…we like money, too!) who rate videos on a scale. Once the scale tips to a certain level of yet undetermined unacceptability, it’s gone BEFORE it goes live. And the social networking thing? It’s just creepy when adults want to “friend” my 4th grader. Let’s nix that.

This idea? It’s practically a LICENSE TO PRINT MONEY, my friends.

Yes, it’s still a tad rough around the edges—I’ll leave the techie details to you—but feel free to contact me here or via email to discuss further (and hire me as a parent consultant!).

Yours in brilliance,
IzzyMom

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If you liked this post and support the idea of a more kid-friendly version of YouTube, please consider using the Facebook Recommend button, re-tweeting with the Twitter button up top and stumbling it by using the Stumbleupon button below.

Thank you!!!


27 Comments

  • kirida says:

    I agree. There needs to be a separate kid-friendly site. I would let my toddler click through Caillou videos on youtube and then I would hear loud gangsta rap and discovered that a lot of jerks redub kid videos with awful music to be funny. There needs to be a filter for this, too.

    • IzzyMom says:

      I heard about similar things with Sesame Street videos—small child clicks a seemingly innocent Elmo-titled and tagged video and then after a second, the visuals change to something super scary and mean and loud, thus freaking out a totally innocent little kid who just wanted to watch Sesame Street characters. What is WRONG with people?

  • AMEN! And forget that volunteer parents crap. Google can afford to pay us to monitor the videos.

    We can even rate them by age appropriateness.

    My boys love to surf YouTube, but some of the stuff they find…

    I think they should hire us right away.

    Google needs a paid board of moms anyway.

  • roo says:

    Love this idea!

  • Jessica says:

    There was this, I havent checked it in ages, but I guess its not up anymore http://www.totlol.com/ I thought it WAS run by youtube. Not sure what happened there. It was exactly what you are talking about as far as I recall.

    • IzzyMom says:

      I scoured the internet recently for sites like that but I never saw that one. There are some other kid video sites out there but they were all lacking in one way or another. I think YouTube could do it and do it really well if they were so inclined (and I hope they are!)

  • Miss Britt says:

    I think this is actually a great idea. My kids spend a lot of time on kid-friendly gaming sites but they are currently forbidden to go on much else because of the ease with which they can stumble onto something inappropriate. A YouTubeKid site would be great!

  • This makes SO MUCH SENSE!!

  • Jack says:

    I love it. My son and nephew stumbled onto “porn bloopers” on Youtube. It was great fun discussing why he put what where and why she smiled- you get the point. I’m not prude by a long shot, but it was unnecessary.

    • IzzyMom says:

      I’m assuming certain body parts were blurred? Even if they were, that’s just way wrong to have that where a kid could come across it and just re-affirms my feeling that a more kid-friendly YouTube needs to be developed.

      (If you have a moment, Tweeting, Stumbling and FBing are much appreciated. I’d love to see this gain some traction)

  • tanniah says:

    This commercial thing is so out of control and your idea is brilliant.
    We actually have to box up and return my son’s leapfrog explorer because we didn’t realize he’d be watching commercials that involve what he calls “scary men” – x-men! Can’t he learn to trace letters without me having to worry about him seeing guns???

    • IzzyMom says:

      Yeah, stuff like that can be really scary to a little kid. They just don’t have the proper filters yet to process certain things.. I think people forget what it’s like to be that age.

  • beta dad says:

    Great idea! I hope its in place well before my kids are old enough to search for vids on YouTube.

    Thanks for thinking of it.

    • IzzyMom says:

      My daughter became interested in the computer and thusly, the internet, WAY before I was ready for it. We use the built-in filtering on our computer but it doesn’t catch everything (on YouTube especially) that I think it should.

  • whall says:

    LOVE it. My 8yr old watches Transformers videos ALL THE TIME and the crap that comes up in the searches and related column is sometimes horrific.

    I’m also even more glad at your suggestion to them, vs claiming a right or suing or basically assuming someone else is responsible for raising your kids. PARENTS are responsible for raising kids, not the government, corporations, or Google. I applaud your method of raising awareness – I’m 100% positive there’s a capitalist non-nannystate answer to this problem, and you’re pointing the way.

  • I love this idea especially because my son has really been into creating little video’s with my RCA small wonder. He sets up his lego men and has been adding sound and everything. I love that he is using his imagination and how fun for him to be able to post it and get responses from other kids his age. I know he and his friends also like to watch You Tube, but you are oh so right that some of the craziest things come up with the most innocent of searches. It would be awesome to have a safe place for him to go and watch videos other kids have made or that are truly geared for kids.

    WOW! So impressed with your thinking. It would be awesome if you made this come to life!!! Good luck.

  • You should check out the KidZui plug-in for Firefox. It acts kind of like a browser with pre-screened content for kids (including YouTube videos) and very limited social networking features.

  • I did a post about YOUR post here. I linked back to your site. I think this is a brilliant idea. As a parent, we have so many responsibilities to our children. We need all the help we can get, and in my opinion, Google should take note of this brilliant idea!!! I will also be Facebooking and Tweeting!!!

    Thanks so much for posting!

  • Mrs.Mayhem says:

    That is an awesome idea! You Tube, you’d better get to work on this idea before the competition does!

  • John says:

    This is a smart idea for sure. Hopefully they would monitor better than they do currently. It’s sad to see the inappropriate videos that are no longer marked as such.

  • I think this is a great idea.

    While youtube does have certain precautions that can be taken, there have been plenty of times when I’ve been searching youtube with my children and turned the computer away *just in case*…

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