Is YouTube prompting kids to kill themselves?
"I think it's extremely risky for our kids", Hess said about the clips Sunday in a phone interview with The Washington Post.
"I'm a paediatrician, and I'm seeing more and more kids coming in with self-harm and suicide attempts. I don't doubt that social media and things such as this is contributing". She recorded it, wrote about it and reported the content to the video-sharing platform, she said.
"But we have to start doing something NOW and we should start by educating ourselves, educating our children, and speaking up when we see something that is risky for our children", Hess added on her PediMom blog.
During one cartoon, a man appeared on the screen giving instructions on how to commit suicide, she told the Washington Post.
The mother also goes to compile videos of Minecraft videos with multiple shooting scenes including one within a school.
Chelcie Jade Creasey said: "This is awful but it is actually happening, I've had to ban the boys from YouTube".
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Hess wants YouTube to do a better job of screening videos intended for YouTube Kids.
The original video has since been removed from YouTube and YouTube Kids, but there's nothing stopping someone from posting another like it.
"I was shocked", Hess said, noting that since then, the scene has been spliced into several more videos from the popular Nintendo game "Splatoon" on YouTube and YouTube Kids, a video app for children.
"We rely on both user flagging and smart detection technology to flag this content for our reviewers", Faville added. "We are always working to improve our systems and to remove violative content more quickly, which is why we report our progress in a quarterly report (transparencyreport.google.com) and give users a dashboard showing the status of videos they've flagged to us". We've also been investing in new controls for parents including the ability to hand pick videos and channels in the app. But she thinks by the time someone reports something, it could have already caused harm. Vulnerable children, perhaps too young to understand suicide, may develop nightmares or try harming themselves out of curiosity, she warned.
Dr Hess, from Florida, US, has been pushing to have the confronting YouTube clips removed, backed by other parents and child health experts. "He waited until parents' guards were down, thinking their kids were just watching a harmless cartoon when he made his entrance four minutes and forty-five seconds into this video".
Most importantly, she says, parents need to team up with each other to combat this problem.
In a tweet, the school said: "We are aware that some nasty challenges (Momo challenge) are hacking into children's programmes".
If you or anyone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or depression, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.