The following information is adapted from the article “6 Ways to Protect Your Kids on YouTube” from Covenant Eyes, a Christian-based program to help families stay clear of pornography. is the #1 video-sharing website, with 2 billion videos viewed every day around the globe. It lets anyone create their own “channel” online to showcase their own video masterpieces for public consumption. It can be a wonderful, creative medium where kids can showcase their lives in a healthy way. But it should be used with close supervision by an adult.

With more than 24 hours of video uploaded every minute, it is impossible for YouTube staff to monitor the content. Therefore, you’ll find videos that promote unhealthy behaviors like drug abuse, binge drinking, anorexia, and bulimia. You’ll also find lots of sexual content.

YouTube has “Community Guidelines” that prohibit people from posting things like sex, nudity, hate speech, harassment, illegal acts, gory content, and other inappropriate videos. But a video can technically meet these guidelines and still have provocative content.

In addition, user-generated comments under each video can include foul language or links to inappropriate websites. Sometime, appropriate videos will appear as “suggested” videos.

Tips for Parents

  1. Set up a YouTube account for yourself. It’s easy and free.
  2. Monitor YouTube. Make sure your underage kids have not created their own 18+ YouTube accounts. Check your kids Internet history or use good parental controls and accountability software to monitor which YouTube videos they view.
  3. Restrict YouTube. Use the YouTube “Safety Mode.” But since it won’t catch all inappropriate content and can be easily circumvented, also set up appropriate parental controls and filters on your home computers.
  4. Get to know YouTube. Surf around YouTube to see what it’s like. Then have an open and ongoing dialogue with your children about what they’re seeing and what they’re doing.
  5. “Flag” videos and teach your kids about flagging. Below each YouTube video is a small flag icon. When logged into your account you can “flag” a video you deem inappropriate. Usually YouTube staff will review this video within an hour or so. Train yourself and your teens to be good cyber citizens and call out videos that do not meet the Community Guidelines.
  6. Have fun with YouTube. There are thousands of videos on YouTube to enjoy. As you come across these videos, you can make them one of your “Favorites” to create a catalog of videos to enjoy.

For more good ideas on protecting your kids online, read the free guide Parenting the Internet Generation: 7 Potential Threats and 7 Habits for Internet Safety. In this guide you will learn not only about pornography, but other online dangers for kids and teens. You will also learn proactive steps you can take to protect your children and your home.

For more resources in avoiding or overcoming pornography, see the LDS Media Talk page titled “Resources in Overcoming Pornography.”

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