Parents have been warned about horrific Peppa Pig ‘parody’ videos circulating online that show characters being shot and burnt alive.
The videos – which are on YouTube and other social media channels – show characters doing gruesome things to one another.
One video, which was viewed more than three million times before it was flagged, showed a character called George picking up a gun and shooting himself.
The news comes just a few months after a graphic beheading scene appeared in the middle of a Peppa Pig video on YouTube kids.
The platform has come under fire several times for not policing its content thoroughly enough, with a number of lewd clips reported to have appeared part-way through children’s videos.
One video – which was viewed more than 188,000 times – shows Peppa Pig setting herself on fire with matches.
The text reads ‘Peppa likes to play with matches. Peppa lit the match. Blow it out Peppa! Peppa is dead.’
Another video showed Peppa pig being gunned to death with the text saying ‘kill Peppa Pig game very soon’.
Such disturbing content is likely to be picked up by children wanting to find genuine episodes of the show.
‘YouTube has time and again claimed they will do more to protect children from traumatic videos like this, but it is still far too easy for children to come across disturbing clips featuring their favorite cartoon characters’ Andy Burrows, NSPCC Associate Head of Child Safety Online told The Sun.
‘The tech giants have a responsibility to protect children on their platforms.’
A YouTube spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘We review all videos flagged by our users against our Community Guidelines.
‘In some cases, we age restrict flagged material that, while not in violation of those guidelines, contains images that may be unsuitable for younger users.
‘Because YouTube is not for children, we’ve invested significantly in the creation of the YouTube Kids app to offer an alternative specifically designed for children.’
In August a mother turned off the TV just moments before a gruesome beheading unfolded before her three-year-old’s eyes.
The child’s mother, from Moonee Ponds in Melbourne, was taking a conference call while her daughter watched Peppa Pig, but knew something was wrong when she noticed the absence of the cartoon character’s voice.
She checked on her daughter to find footage of a kneeling man about to be beheaded, hitting the power button seconds from the gruesome act playing out, The Advertiser reported.
Fortunately, she was able to protect her daughter from the grim clip but wanted other mothers to know the ‘kids’ function on YouTube did not guarantee cyber safety.
YouTube has marketed its offshoot as ‘safer and simpler for kids to explore the world through online video’, but a string of similar instances has proven this might not be the case.
Another recent incident involved preschool children in New South Wales and Queensland enacting sexual behavior in school hours after being accidentally exposed to pornographic content on YouTube Kids.
While YouTube claimed the family-friendly version was free of adult material, it has been revealed it’s in fact no safer than the regular service.
The inappropriate material was only removed from ‘kids’ once it was reported – the same process as content shared to the adult site.
Such loose regulatory policies could contribute to the one in five children aged eight and under that now watch pornographic material online.
Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Safety Angus Taylor called on social media companies to be more vigilant with its policing of content.
‘I am aware of these types of cases. Social media companies absolutely have a responsibility to do more,’ Minister Taylor said.
‘All versions of the YouTube Kids app use filters powered by algorithms to select videos from YouTube. We continually work hard to make our algorithms as accurate as possible in order to provide a safer version of YouTube,’ a spokeswoman said.
Digital expert Dr. Kristy Goodwin was called into schools following reports children as young as four imitated ‘doggy style’ sexual positions.
‘These four and five year-old are imitating doggy style, they are trying to force other children to imitate the act of fellatio all in the schoolyard because of things they have been exposed to online,’ Dr. Goodwin said.
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