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Good read if you have young kids

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    Good read if you have young kids

    I saw this on Reddit and thought it would be appropriate to share if anyone has or is involved with young kids. This is some pretty weird shit and it's a long read but I think the exposure is important. Some of these videos aimed at kids have animated versions of murder, rape, 9/11 reennactment etc.

    Something is wrong on the internet – James Bridle – Medium

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    Re: Good read if you have young kids

    Long AF.. cliff notes?

    Weird stuff is on the internet? Some of it is made by bots?

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    Re: Good read if you have young kids

    Some made unintentionally by bots.
    Some made intentionally by ass-hat trolls.

    There is some very creepy stuff out there on the 'tubes.

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    Re: Good read if you have young kids

    Quote Originally Posted by breakdirt916 View Post
    Weird stuff is on the internet? Some of it is made by bots?
    That's the gist of it.

    I've discovered a lot of this crap on my own in a few different contexts, both from my own daughter watching YouTube crafting/art videos and slowly getting "recommended video" creep and ending up in some very strange places, and also from years of working on media indexing & analysis algorithms as well as online advertising/PPC models.

    The short story is this: the Internet is fucking weird, there is a TON of stuff that is inappropriate for children and probably even adults, and if your kid is online you *need* to screen everything they consume and monitor their usage vigilantly.

    Parents, parents, PARENTS. The one word the author seems to have forgotten about. While he has done some good by shedding light on how screwy it can get, implying that this is totally up to Google/YouTube and they are totally complicit in the manufacturing of this content, he completely avoided discussing the parent's role in all of this. When are people going to get it through their head that they can't just throw a tablet at their kid and expect Google to do their parenting for them??

    They shouldn't be, but I'll bet a lot of people would be shocked by how much nasty, fucked up, violent, pornographic, even illegal content makes it on to YouTube. And not all of it gets noticed/moderated/deleted. They have millions of videos being uploaded every day - what do people expect to happen?

    I love technology and grew up in a much "tamer" time. That time has ended.

    Interestingly, the very software/automation that the author is blaming is the only thing that's going to be able to help us in the future. There is simply too much new content being generated every day for humans to screen. AI is making huge advancements, and you can bet your ass Google is using machine learning to combat the problem.

    Maybe I have an unpopular opinion on this, but I do believe there are cultural differences that determine what some parent's think is or is not appropriate for kids to watch. In American culture, it's more or less okay for kids to be exposed to violence as long as we don't show too much blood. In other cultures, violence might be more frowned upon but sex and nudity are generally not a big deal. Is it up to Google to decide for us, or is it up to parents? Yes, they have a responsibility to moderate this stuff, but by placing the burden solely on Google/YouTube we're completely missing the point - raise your own fucking kids and pay attention to what they're doing.

    A more salient problem from my perspective is not just the type of content kids are consuming and whether it's too weird or violent or sexual, but the sheer amount of content they are consuming and how pervasive it is in their lives. Passive consumption is a terrible habit to teach your children. It literally makes them dumber, robs of kids of the ability to think critically, make their own decisions and develop perseverance. When you sit there being spoon fed garbage all day you forget how to pick up a spoon and feed yourself.

    All that negativity aside, the Internet is a fountain of knowledge. It's just not a place for kids to go unsupervised. That's sort of the point of parenting. I love that my daughter can learn art techniques from people all over the world, or that she can find ten thousand ways to make slime out of household products (okay, love is a strong word..), but we started enforcing strict time allowances for YouTube and monitoring everything after she got her tablet. When things started to get a little bit too "addicty" this summer, we decided to take a break from the tablet altogether. Interestingly, she hasn't asked for it once in two months, but guess what, we actually have to parent! A lot of parents loathe to engage with their kids, sit down after school and do homework together or do projects and fun stuff with them. We live in a pretty lazy fucking society apparently where we expect kids to just be raised by others so we have enough time to check Facebook 500x per day, then we cry about what our kids are watching. Get the fuck over it, unplug your kid, and spend some time with them if you want them raised right.

    (general statements here, not directed at OP or anyone in particular, just to be clear..)

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    Re: Good read if you have young kids

    Tough read dude...but yeah youtube is strange AF for young kids. I don't like my daughter on it but I can't watch her 24/7. I've seen some weird returns on her searches.

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    Re: Good read if you have young kids

    We have it easy now, my son is less than 2 years old and we can just flat out eliminate his exposure. We are diligent about not having our phones out while the little dude is awake and the teachers aren't allow to have them out at daycare. All of the digital media he sees is via television; pretty much just kid shows and sports. Again though, he isn't even 2 yet. I know this is going to become much more difficult as he becomes more independent. I also know that shielding him from this type of access isn't doing him any favors in the long run.

    I've long held a disdain for "touchscreen parents," well before I had one of my own. If anything, having my son has given me a better understanding to why a lot of parents seem to cave to that. It's really fucking hard to get shit done oftentimes....just basic daily shit like getting laundry done, washing the dishes, or making sure dust bunnies don't take over the house. We both work and there just isn't enough time in the day.

    So I don't know when the pendulum swings the other way, can't keep him with no access forever. I know I was doing some pretty scandalous shit on the internet at 10 years old...but that was the early 90's. He's my first kid so I'll probably mess this up. My intent now is to keep him restricted until I can identify that he's moved past everything being a binary problem/solution/situation.

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    Re: Good read if you have young kids

    +1. My kid is nearing 2, has never sat down with a tablet or phone or anything else, besides her mom showing per pictures of puppies or Facetime with the fam.

    No TV either, ever. Minus a 5 minute intro to The Big Lebowski. That's it. We're hardcore.

    It sure does take more work to keep her entertained and/or get shit done around the house, but my kid will NOT become a screen zombie until she can understand a least a bit of what real life is like.

    That being said, I'd like to see some science behind exposure to graphic material and behavioral changes before passing complete judgement.

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    Re: Good read if you have young kids

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    That being said, I'd like to see some science behind exposure to graphic material and behavioral changes before passing complete judgement.
    Me too

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    Re: Good read if you have young kids

    tough world to have a kid today!

    devices, shootings, and expensive AF

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    Re: Good read if you have young kids

    You know what I think is crazy.. I have a couple of friends and family that are quite strict on the no technology, no tablets, and even one says no TV. When their kids come near mine, they are aggressive AF and get almost violent to try to get the devices/toys from my kids. Unfortunately my kids are told to be gentle with younger ones, so they usually get scratched and pretty much "bullied" by the ones smaller than them. I wonder where that violence came from? I pretty much tell them to go hide their stuff when those kids come.. and just play with the toys instead. (They are pretty mean with the toys too, but way more aggressive trying to get tablets from my kids!)

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    Re: Good read if you have young kids

    Not a parent myself... so I know that means my thoughts are kinda moot. That said I've had some conversations my my brother in law, friends with kids, etc about the topic. What are peoples thoughts on (once old enough) teaching them to navigate the internet safely? I know as kids grow older they're taught how to stay safe in the real world (stranger danger, look both ways crossing the street, signs of danger, etc). Would the same idea be applicable on the internet? There's an infinite amount that can be taught to a kid online appropriately (Scratch from MIT comes to mind). Obviously this kinda post-toddler phase of learning.

    Just curious.

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    Re: Good read if you have young kids

    I'm early to the game with a 7 yo and 5 yo.. but they already know when I see stuff/hear stuff I do not like, I tell them it's not appropriate for their age. They usually tell/show me when funky videos such as mentioned in that article comes up, and I flag them on youtube. What really gets me is they are surfing kids stuff, and when there are thriller/horror films coming up, youtube will still have them in the adverts. I complained to them that at least they could make some effort in choosing the right ads to play at the right time.. forget about the funky videos.. plain commercials are a little nut nut.. ABC's.. and then "the purge"? what the....

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    Re: Good read if you have young kids

    Quote Originally Posted by Tekime View Post
    The short story is this: the Internet is fucking weird, there is a TON of stuff that is inappropriate for children and probably even adults, and if your kid is online you *need* to screen everything they consume and monitor their usage vigilantly.

    Parents, parents, PARENTS. The one word the author seems to have forgotten about. While he has done some good by shedding light on how screwy it can get, implying that this is totally up to Google/YouTube and they are totally complicit in the manufacturing of this content, he completely avoided discussing the parent's role in all of this. When are people going to get it through their head that they can't just throw a tablet at their kid and expect Google to do their parenting for them??
    I think the author is indirectly trying to highlight how difficult and impractical that might be. Are you going to pre-screen every 3 minute video clip before your kid(s) are allowed to watch it? You stand next to them, they see a recommended video and pass the device to you. You screen, then they watch. Rinse and repeat? Insert a couple arguments in the middle about why you're denying them a specific video too.

    Maybe the compromise, if this doesn't already exist, is to have specific content providers who obtain a level of trust and scrutiny by Youtube. Kids get a YouTube account that is restricted to viewing content from those subscribed providers. Maybe have a second more permissive option where 'friend of friend' content providers can be viewed without an adult allowing it. Expands the autonomy (and risk) a bit, but without going full free-for-all.

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    Re: Good read if you have young kids

    Quote Originally Posted by aldend123 View Post
    I think the author is indirectly trying to highlight how difficult and impractical that might be. Are you going to pre-screen every 3 minute video clip before your kid(s) are allowed to watch it? You stand next to them, they see a recommended video and pass the device to you. You screen, then they watch. Rinse and repeat? Insert a couple arguments in the middle about why you're denying them a specific video too.
    It's really not THAT difficult. There is a YouTube Kids, you can find channels that are appropriate, but mostly just don't let them disappear into their bedroom with a tablet for hours. Just be present. If you can't be present, don't let them go online.

    I mean, I could care less what other parents do and if mom & dad don't care what their kids watch then great. My point was just that parents can't let a kid have online freedom and then complain about the effects of it. Either be present or not, and if you can't be present and let them go online they WILL be exposed to crazy shit and it's sort of not the Internet's fault...

    I've actually never been strict about online stuff until it started to become an unhealthy routine. She has an iPhone, two tablets, knows how to use them better than most adults and doesn't go apeshit when other kids have them because she never got to play. The YouTube force is strong though....

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    Re: Good read if you have young kids

    Quote Originally Posted by Tekime View Post
    It's really not THAT difficult. There is a YouTube Kids, you can find channels that are appropriate, but mostly just don't let them disappear into their bedroom with a tablet for hours. Just be present. If you can't be present, don't let them go online.

    I mean, I could care less what other parents do and if mom & dad don't care what their kids watch then great. My point was just that parents can't let a kid have online freedom and then complain about the effects of it. Either be present or not, and if you can't be present and let them go online they WILL be exposed to crazy shit and it's sort of not the Internet's fault...

    I've actually never been strict about online stuff until it started to become an unhealthy routine. She has an iPhone, two tablets, knows how to use them better than most adults and doesn't go apeshit when other kids have them because she never got to play. The YouTube force is strong though....
    The problem is that this content is on YT kids. But mostly I agree with your thoughts as well. I know this was a long read, just wanted to point it out as I spend a ton of time online and never even know this existed until I read the article.

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    Re: Good read if you have young kids

    My daughter isn't allowed to watch you tube. She was 2 when we had to actually make that a decision and I made my wife uninstall you tube from her phone. Like a week later she was on YouTube on my wife's phone. She found out that she could click on the Google play store, then click on apps untill one of them had a video preview... Which brought her to the YouTube webpage...

    Moral of the story, yes if kids can get to it they will in this age. You have to really watch what they are looking at. There is no such thing anymore as "it's safe there's nothing bad there"

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    Re: Good read if you have young kids

    Quote Originally Posted by Tekime View Post
    It's really not THAT difficult. There is a YouTube Kids, you can find channels that are appropriate, but mostly just don't let them disappear into their bedroom with a tablet for hours. Just be present. If you can't be present, don't let them go online.

    I mean, I could care less what other parents do and if mom & dad don't care what their kids watch then great. My point was just that parents can't let a kid have online freedom and then complain about the effects of it. Either be present or not, and if you can't be present and let them go online they WILL be exposed to crazy shit and it's sort of not the Internet's fault...

    I've actually never been strict about online stuff until it started to become an unhealthy routine. She has an iPhone, two tablets, knows how to use them better than most adults and doesn't go apeshit when other kids have them because she never got to play. The YouTube force is strong though....
    Ah I see. I guess I interpreted your post to mean you were expecting parents to be very strict about the kid's browsing/viewing.
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveZX6r View Post
    There is no such thing anymore as "it's safe there's nothing bad there"
    There never was.

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    Re: Good read if you have young kids

    You can't keep them away from it. No technology in the bedroom (includes tv), no technology at the dinner table is a good start though. Keeping them occupied with other "real" stuff is huge. My .02

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    Re: Good read if you have young kids

    Quote Originally Posted by aldend123 View Post
    Ah I see. I guess I interpreted your post to mean you were expecting parents to be very strict about the kid's browsing/viewing
    lol, no, quite the opposite really

    I spend too much time at a keyboard, before I know it I've typed a novel and my point is usually lost. Gotta get with these 120 character times...

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    Re: Good read if you have young kids

    Been reading about “iGen” kids, who grew up with smart phones. Many are spending 5-6 hours a day on them. “Grounding”is now taking away their phones, not sending them to their rooms.

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    Re: Good read if you have young kids

    At 6, R has no devices of her own. She gets to chill and eat breakfast watching whatever she wants on tv/Netflix/prime in the mornings (a show is typically 18-23min since there’s no commercials) and again to decompress right before bedtime routine.
    She has a folder on moms phone of apps, typically educational stuff: build a human, how a city works, do barbies hair, shit like that, she gets to use on a very rare occasion.


    There’s a happy medium in there somewhere, find your comfort zone and do it up.

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    Re: Good read if you have young kids

    My son is now 13 and has his own phone. Didn't get his own phone until he was 12. He's had a tablet and computer though for quite some time for homework. I didn't want to take away technology when that is the forefront of our society now, but we were quite vigilant in what he was doing.

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    Re: Good read if you have young kids

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    Been reading about “iGen” kids, who grew up with smart phones. Many are spending 5-6 hours a day on them. “Grounding”is now taking away their phones, not sending them to their rooms.
    Eh, I'd be skeptical of the source. That kinda stuff panders to your crowd. Damn kids and their computers etc etc. It starts to become another iteration of the 'millennials are gonna ruin everything' routine. There's a lot of adults, prior to the internet, who watch TV from the moment they get home till bed. Point being this isn't really new.

    I was 'grounded' similarly, but it was the computer and/or landline that was banned. Mom used to give me shit all the time for spending too much time on the computer, and made attempts to limit it. Though looking back, I think that kinda faded out once she figured out how to use one. A lot of time was spent just browsing around and chatting with friends. But I needed to learn how to maintain and operate the device if I wanted to keep it up. Between that and learning how to mod video games fueled a lot of self-education. Probably the digital equivalent of having your own mini-bike or car, and no money for a mechanic. It just worked out naturally that way. I wonder how you can link digital usage to a hobby somewhat organically? How many of us are watching youtube of motorcycle stuff on a rainy evening? Granted maybe none of this is really applicable to the younger kids.

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    Re: Good read if you have young kids

    Interestingly, we've discovered that if we want our daughter to get off the bus without an adult present, she is required to have a phone. When I was ten we were getting ourselves on and off the bus and were unsupervised for several hours after school.

    Quote Originally Posted by aldend123 View Post
    I was 'grounded' similarly, but it was the computer and/or landline that was banned. Mom used to give me shit all the time for spending too much time on the computer, and made attempts to limit it. Though looking back, I think that kinda faded out once she figured out how to use one. A lot of time was spent just browsing around and chatting with friends. But I needed to learn how to maintain and operate the device if I wanted to keep it up. Between that and learning how to mod video games fueled a lot of self-education. Probably the digital equivalent of having your own mini-bike or car, and no money for a mechanic. It just worked out naturally that way. I wonder how you can link digital usage to a hobby somewhat organically? How many of us are watching youtube of motorcycle stuff on a rainy evening? Granted maybe none of this is really applicable to the younger kids.
    Yep, I spent hoours on my computer (mostly taking it apart and granted I was running DOS on a 1MHz but still). But that basically laid the foundation for my entire career, and I'm almost entirely self-educated even as an adult.

    I don't think that's how a lot of kids are using their devices though - just going on my anecdotal experiences here. Watching other kids play a video game on YouTube or prank videos for four hours doesn't have any value IMO. My kiddo has learned a ton of cool art stuff from YouTube and I definitely encourage her to learn the tech, but when she goes down this rabbit hole of mindless crap day after day it's just a brain drain. The "passive consumption" becomes an attention-span devouring habit after a while.

    My buddy has been living/teaching kids in China for years and is big time into PC gaming. He recently recounted how his girlfriend's nephew was visiting and his favorite hobby is watching people play video games on YouTube. Kid spends the entire evening glued to his phone watching someone else play a video game. So my buddy introduces him to a couple sweet games... kid barely makes it five minutes, can't finish a level and automatically says "that guy is too hard and I can't get any further" gives up and returns to watching someone else play. Literally NO capacity to put any effort into it and the mere thought of trying to figure something out on his own was inconceivable. Obviously anecdotal here but I see the same thing with friend's kids and started to see it in my kid and I was like HELL NO TABLET TIME IS OVER!

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