A few tips I’ve used on YouTube, from a dad.

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Mike Chappell

26 February at 23:10 · 

As a relatively internet savvy dad I thought I’d just share a few tips I’ve used on YouTube, especially in light of the MOMO stuff (and similar) doing the rounds.

In could be a long post so here’s the most important link first, what has actually been watched on your account: https://www.youtube.com/feed/history

Number 1 – and maybe the most boring one – but don’t let your kids alone with YouTube until you’re 100% happy they understand your rules and know what to do. Have it on in the lounge… sure, but when you are there or can hear. We often streamed whatever little man watched into kitchen in the early days if we had dinner to make or similar (various ways to do that, ask if you’re not sure).

The most important thing is the conversation between you and your kids, the rules and guidance you give them and how you support then. Never use the “they’re better at this technology thing than me” as an excuse. It’s nothing to be proud of, sorry. You need to learn. That might sound harsh but you either try and cut it off completely (and risk them working around you and not telling you) or you learn and talk with them.

2 – Make sure you have an account and are logged in. If you use YouTube (or anyone who uses your TV or Xbox / PS or whatever does) then have an account for the kids’ use separate from “everyone else”.

Why? Well thousands of parents up and down the country are now looking up “MOMO” and watching it themselves…YouTube then thinks “Ah, you like this sort of thing” and will show you more and more content like that. Next time you are out the room and your kid is watching someone unwrap their 1000th kinder egg (how is that woman not the size of a house?!) the very next video could be exactly the content you are trying to protect them from so… 
USE A DIFFERENT ACCOUNT.
SIGN OUT from that account when you are finished watching “Carpool Karaoke” or “The Internet’s Greatest Skateboading Failures”.
SIGN BACK IN to the account that only has channels you have vetted in and a history of only good things.
Don’t forget that last part!

3 – Set the ground rules that they can only watch channels that you have vetted and then VET THEM and SUBSCRIBE to them on the kids account. Watch full videos from everyone they want to watch, several videos. If that channel has been around for years then watch their early, middle and recent stuff – some people are kid friendly now and didn’t used to be! Yes, this will be very dull and you’ll possibly know more about unwrapping kinder eggs that you ever needed to and it’s quite likely you’ll either grow an aversion to Minecraft or find yourself taking on the Ender Dragon yourself BUT… you’ll know a bit more about what your kids are into and you will be a lot happier about what they are watching. If anything is dodgy here, REPORT IT. YouTube is getting very good at taking stuff down. If it infringes copyright, they take it down even faster!

4 – Learn about YouTube history. Every account has a log of everything that has been watched. Check it, regularly.
https://www.youtube.com/feed/history

If you accidentally watch Gordon Ramsey’s rudest outakes on the kids account then go in there and remove it from their history… that will stop it being something suggested as something they might like more of.
If you’ve had that chat with them, they should probably stop the video anyway but prune the history to minimise the risk.
Oh and if your kid is a teenager and looking to hide stuff from you, they can prune it too so just be aware that’s a WHOLE other topic 😉

5- Set the privacy on the kids account up. Easiest to do this from a “proper” computer but you can from mobile too. I’d keep the watch and search history on, keep all likes and subscriptions private:
https://www.youtube.com/account
Different apps have different options here but if you can turn off recommendations then I suggest you do so. Same with Auto-Play.
If you are on a browser then maybe always go to: https://www.youtube.com/feed/subscriptions
So you don’t even see any vids that aren’t your vetted list/ And look for the cog logo and – as I say above – turn off autoplay and annotations.
6 – Device wise, if you can, obviously use YouTube Kids. Don’t RELY on it and it’s not on most smart TVs etc but if you can, then use it.
Android : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details…
Apple (iPhone / iPad) : https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/youtube-kids/id936971630…

I hate to say it but if you have the cash, YouTube Premium stops the ads and some of those aren’t brilliantly kid friendly.
Anyway long post, if anyone made it to the end and has any questions or extra advice, fire away!