Web Study: Kids Turn to YouTube 'Sex,' 'Porn'

What are your kids looking for when they surf the Web? The computer security firm Symantec Corp recently found that kids were interested in “Michael Jackson, eBay, Wikipedia, Miley Cyrus who plays Hannah Montana in the hit Disney series, Taylor Swift, Webkinz, Club Penguin, and the Black Eyed Peas' song ‘Boom Boom Pow.’” Oh, and “sex” and “porn.”According to an August 12 Reuters report, Symantec “studied 3.5million searches and “identified the top 100 searches conducted between February and July through its family safety service OnlineFamily.Norton, which monitors children's and teenager's Internet use,” Reuters explained.The company’s Family Resources blog listed the top 10 searches:

  1. YouTube
  2. Google
  3. FaceBook
  4. Sex
  5. MySpace
  6. Porn
  7. Yahoo
  8. Michael JacksonFred (A popular fictional character whose YouTube channel has become a hit among kids.)
  9. eBay

If CMI’s research is an indication, children aren’t having much trouble finding “sex” and “porn.” Not if they’re looking on YouTube.Earlier this summer, CMI published a study of inappropriate adult content on YouTube. “BlueTube: Four Reasons to Keep Your Kids Away from YouTube” found that, despite appeals from pro-family groups and the site’s own content guidelines, YouTube is rife with sexual material, including soft-core porn and links to adult porn sites. Some major findings from the study:

  • A search of the word “porn” returned more than 330,000 results.101 “porn” videos had 438,318,147 combined views – or 1.38 views for every man, woman and child in the United States.Porn sites, along with “dating” services and phone sex lines, use YouTube videos as advertising.
  • Written and verbal obscenity is commonplace. The “F***” word alone appeared in the titles of some 169,000 individual videos.
  • There are 11,900 gay channels on YouTube, including 459 gay porn channels, and 52,700 “gay porn” videos.   

Furthermore, YouTube’s safety mechanisms are minimal, and the company and Google, it’s parent, rebuffed CMI requests for comment.

Matthew Philbin
Matthew Philbin
Matt Philbin is Managing Editor of MRC Culture