While YouTube is entertaining platform, is it a beneficial one?


YouTube is an online video-sharing platform with more than two billion users. People from all over the world are able to make videos of different types of content. The app was made in 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, and was later bought by the large internet company, Google. People of all ages have used YouTube as a source of entertainment and enjoyment. The content on YouTube ranges for that of young children to educational videos for adults. 

As the times have changed, so has the content featured on YouTube. Many now identify YouTube as a source of drama and conflict, something that should not be used by kids or young teenagers. Many YouTubers have been displaying their life and home for everyone to see, and some young people may start to believe that having extravagant mansions and $5,000 shoes are normal. 

“Youtube and Instagram each have their fair share of social media influencers, which can create a toxic consumerist environment. Everything is exaggerated on camera. Some teens form unbridled expectations that will never meet up with reality. Also, teens might spend more money than necessary on products they don’t need,” said Martha Custard from the LearnSafe blogging website. 

There is also a part of YouTube that has been deemed “The Dark Side of YouTube.” This fragment of YouTube could potentially have inappropriate content that should not be watched by younger audiences. Adults have tried to shield their children from it by installing the YouTube Kids app, which restricts potentially inappropriate content that’s not made for extremely young audiences. 

Many YouTubers have also faced controversy over their actions on different social media platforms. YouTubers have been accused of racism, sexual assault and abuse, some of which having been aired on YouTube. Instead of these issues being dealt with in private, influencers have taken to social media platforms to deal with these conflicts, making almost everything public. 

Though YouTube will always have content that young teenagers and children should not be exposed to, there are also ways to ensure a safer YouTube experience. Along with the YouTube Kids app, when users on YouTube put in their proper age when creating an account, their content suggestions will be filtered. If someone signs into YouTube and puts that their age is 14, YouTube will only suggest content that they deem suitable for a 14 year-old. If the user attempts to watch a video that YouTube had deemed inappropriate for a 14 year-old, the user will be unable to watch the video. 

The risk of YouTube does not stop at the type of content shared. There are also dangers presented by the people that watch the content. 

“YouTube is facing a new wave of criticism over the alarming number of predatory comments and videos targeting young children,” said Julia Alexander from The Verge

The people behind YouTube have attempted to combat child predators who use YouTube to harass children. Comments on videos aimed towards children have been disabled in order to protect them from encountering any inappropriate comments and remarks. 

YouTube has been around for 15 years and continues to gain popularity every day. Though some content can be considered questionable, it will not hinder the platform’s continuous growth. Measures can be taken in order to ensure a safer YouTube environment, but a completely safe YouTube experience probably won’t happen for a very long time.