LookingForClues - Article

  Sex and Porn on YouTube

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Do your kids watch videos on YouTube? As a parent, you should know that YouTube is more than just clips of funny cats, laughing babies, and Fred. There are many videos on YouTube that are ads for Porn Sites. Learn about the seamy side of YouTube from a man who has been writing about YouTube Stars for over three years. This article is a follow up to our previous Sex on YouTube article from 2008.

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Sex and Porn on YouTube
A Guide For Parents

by Kenny Crane   6/18/09

Last year I wrote a very popular article about Sex on YouTube. It was a warning to parents that their young children might be able to easily find things on the site that they would not want them to see. Since then, YouTube changed its policy last December on sexually suggestive content, as I reported on my blog. I stated, "Content flagged by viewers and reviewed by staff deemed to have sexually explicit content are age restricted and will no longer be promoted on Most Viewed lists and Honor pages. No one who has given a date of birth when they made their account which would indicate that they are under 18 will be able to watch these videos, and they should now be harder to find for everyone."

So where do we stand now? Are there less sex and porn videos on YouTube? Not according to some recent news reports. Last night, Bill O'Reilly did a segment on his Fox News program "The Factor" about Pornographic Content on YouTube. He said, "a new study by the Media Research Group indicates that Pornograpic Content is available to kids on YouTube pretty much all the time." During the 4 minute segment, which included guest Amanda Carpenter, examples of "porn" video clips from YouTube were shown, featuring girls dancing in their underwear and girls kissing girls. As an aside, the Huffington Post website commented that Bill and Fox News just used these clips to "titillate his audience with long porn montages while railing against the dangers of porn." You can watch the Bill O'Reilly Factor segment and read the Huffington Post commentary on it, here.

We'll have a look at the Media Research Group report and discuss some of its findings further ahead in this article. First, I would like to mention another news report that appeared in the New York Times last week. The article, titled "Lights, Camera, Contraction!" talks about the growing trend of childbirth videos appearing on YouTube. The article mentions that Sarah Griffith posted a series of childbirth videos with over 3 Million Views. I verified that the nine part graphic sequence, which includes some yelling and screaming as you might imagine, has over 3,350,000 total video views. Only some of the videos have been flagged, which marks the video with the warning that "This video may not be suitable for minors" and requires the viewer to click a button indicating that they are over 18.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with educating the public about childbirth. It is something that was commonly witnessed by family members in past generations before hospital births were common. But as a parent, you should be aware that these kinds of videos are on YouTube. A search for the term "childbirth" at YouTube yielded about 3,140 results - and only a small portion of these videos were of actual childbirth. But at least 5 videos from the first page of results appeared to be graphic videos of childbirth. It is important for the public to be educated about various serious topics. The New York Times article quotes Victoria Grand, YouTube's head of policy as saying, "Nudity is generally prohibited on YouTube, but we make exceptions for videos that are educational, documentary or scientific." It goes on to say, "YouTube employees regularly review graphic videos and, depending on the content, may decide to leave a video up, restrict access to those 18 and older or remove the video altogether. Explicit medical videos are among the exceptions, allowing cyberpatients and other viewers 18 and over to watch videos of colonoscopies, appendectomies and open-heart surgery. Most childbirth videos are age restricted." I found that most of the childbirth videos from Sarah Griffith were not age restricted, and as I stated above, a user has but to click a button affirming that they are over 18 and the video will play for anybody.

There are helpful medical videos on YouTube. For example, a search for "Breast Exam" returns several Breast Exam videos with over 1 Million views that are educational and may help women (and men!) detect Breast Cancer. One that we mentioned in our Sex on YouTube article shows "a UK college girl's sports team stripping from the waist up in order to examine their breasts." This video is still on YouTube and although flagged, it has over 1,783,720 views.

But right on the first page of results for "Breast Exam" are several "Medical Fetish" videos including one titled "College girl strips naked for her full body physical." It is essentailly an advertisement for a Medical Fetish website that charges $39.95 a month to watch women getting medical exams. The link to the website is right in the description which includes the tags: "breast exam erotic nurses nude breasts sexual examinations enemas anal medical doctor exams naked nurse pussy check ups insert doctors brunette latina asian blonde women up college girl physicals hospital fetish sex dr" Any child who searches on one of these tags will be one click away from this sex fantasy website that has plenty of large graphic pictures on its homepage. A click on any picture brings up the "Join Now" page which requests your credit card information.

As I have stated before, YouTube does a fairly good job of keeping gratuitous nudity off the site. There are little to no actual porn videos, although some do occasionally slip in. I reported last month on the Porn Attack on YouTube in which some group "uploaded what may number in the thousands of videos that begin as harmless music videos which soon cut to scenes of nudity and group sex. The titles, descriptions and tags indicate that the videos are of popular recording artists such as Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers. If a visitor clicks on one of these videos, they see the beginning of a music video by one of these musicians who are popular with young people. Soon the content changes to adults participating in group sex acts." According to the Media Research Group's "Blue Tube" report, YouTube now has "clips of the Disney movie Aladdin, dubbed with four-letter words and a porn movie theme." It goes on to say that a search for "porn" on YouTube yields "157 videos that each had more than 1 million views." I just entered "porn" in the search box and found about 276,000 results. The first page of results contained videos with titles like "Hot Porn Lesbians", "Homemade Porn" and "MILF WITH BIG TITS XXX PORNO PORN". Adults have the legal right to chose whether or not to watch this kind of material, but if you are a parent, you may not want your children to come across these kinds of videos while browsing on YouTube.

Media Research Group's "Blue Tube" report goes on to present findings that they claim indicate that "YouTUbe is for porn", "YouTube is a Marketing Vehicle for Porn Merchants" and that Obscenity is Commonplace: "If your children can read, YouTube could teach them a whole new vocabulary. Profanity and every imaginable obscenity, including graphic sexual language, were rampant on the site. The 'F***' word alone appeared in the titles of some 169,000 individual videos." I concluded my "Sex on YouTube - A Parent's Guide" article by saying, "If your child wants to watch a video online, please consider sitting right there with them, and be prepared to turn off the power button on your computer monitor if something inappropriate comes on!" The Blue Tube report makes similar recommendations. It suggests, "Adults should never let children search or surf YouTube without constant supervision. Parents should remember that even seemingly harmless videos and search terms can have disturbing results for children - including obscenity and links to outside porn sites."

If you are a parent, you should know that YouTube is the most popular video sharing site on the planet and is the third most popular website on the entire internet. Your children have probably heard of YouTube and may have visited the site to watch some videos - at home, at school, or at a friend's home. You should be aware of what they may find when they seek out video entertainment on the internet. You may decide to set rules on their internet use and you may want to be ready to discuss things they have come across as they browse online. You are the parent and you will have to decide the right course of action for your family. You are now equipped with some knowledge that can be of help as you make your decisions.

Please Visit YouTubeStars!

Kenny Crane has been writing about YouTube videomakers and their videos at YouTubeStars.com since June 2006. He also publishes the YouTube Top 100 Weekly Chart of the Most Popular YouTube videomakers.


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