Yes. I wrote two entries today. This informative entry about sharing out videos of children was intended to be today’s entry. But then I caught up on Twitter and HAD to write something about this issue too. Sorry for the content overload.
It is no secret that I’m a total science geek. I subscribe to more science channels on YouTube than I do anything else. I LURVES ME SOME SCIENCE. The Brain Scoop skinned a wolf on their channel this week and it was SOOO EDUCATIONAL and SOOO COOL. Emily Grasslie threw out names of bones and muscles and made wolf anatomy entertaining! She talked about penis bones!
It was the kind of video that would make a kid enjoy science. It was gross (BLOOD!) and funny (PENIS BONES!) and just all-around awesome.
And yesterday? YouTube threw up an age-restriction on it.
Total B.S. that @youtube age-restricted the most recent Brain Scoop video. I mean…we have a gross-o-meter…what else do you want?
— Hank Green (@hankgreen) February 7, 2013
Listen. I love YouTube. But if I was worried about my kids stumbling upon inappropriate videos online? I’d be way more concerned if they stumbled upon Tyler Oakley’s channel, or Mamrie Hart’s channel. I mean, I love those guys! But the language and sexual talk/innuendo is way more “inappropriate” than a wolf carcass or a penis bone.
PLEASE UNDERSTAND: I DON’T THINK ANY OF THOSE VIDEOS DESERVE AN AGE RESTRICTION. But – as a parent – I find it really bizarre that of all of the YouTube videos I watch that make sexual jokes and innuendos and throw out f-bombs every other word, it’s the educational video that got the age restriction set on it.
First of all – My small kids are young enough that they aren’t allowed on the computer without my supervision. It doesn’t matter what restrictions YouTube sets, I filter content for them. We normally watch healthy sing along songs on Youtube, therefore, age restrictions don’t really affect us as a family. If they were old enough to be on the internet without supervision? Then there are videos on YouTube I’d be WAY more worried about them stumbling upon before the Wolf Skinning.
ALSO: Brain Scoop put PLENTY of warning before the video about the “GROSS” factor. And honestly? It was no more “GROSS” than an episode of Bones which everyone has access to every week on their television at home. NO AGE RESTRICTION ON NETWORK TV.
I don’t know who to blame. I’m assuming people flagged the video as inappropriate, so it’s more THEIR fault than YouTube’s. But if so? Those people should check out the fanfiction tag on Tumblr. I mean, if your kid has unrestricted internet access and you’re worried about them stumbling upon gory videos of Wolf Skinning where someone talks about penis bones? You probably should stay away from Tumblr all together. Also? Half of the rest of the videos on YouTube.
(But don’t really stay away from Tumblr! There’s awesome stuff on Tumblr!)
If it was YouTube that set the age restriction on their own? Then they have some MESSED UP STANDARDS.
It’s just frustrating. As a parent? I monitor my young kid’s internet usage (they have no internet access outside my view) and my older kid got free range once I thought he was old enough to be his own filter. I mean – do parents not realize how much verbal smut is out there online? Half of which is written by other teenagers? If your kid has unrestricted internet access they are about 2 clicks away from homoerotic fanfiction involving Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy. It has a name: Drarry Smut. And a lot of it would make “50 Shades” look tame.
I AM NOT JOKING. (But man, I kinda wish I was. I mean, is nothing sacred anymore?)
So, either parents need to become more aware of what’s out there and quit flagging gross-but-educational videos, or YouTube needs to check their standards a bit. Either way – I want my kids watching entertaining and educational videos. It will make science FUN. I don’t need YouTube deciding whether or not they can handle that.
(Now I am cautiously stepping off my soapbox. Thank you for tolerating my rant.)