Familiar characters from legitimate kids videos are being mimicked, and linked as suggestions from the legitimate videos. It's one of many abuses mentioned in Dude, you broke the future!.

We're already seeing alarm over bizarre YouTube channels that attempt to monetize children's TV brands by scraping the video content off legitimate channels and adding their own advertising and keywords. Many of these channels are shaped ... advertising AIs that are simply trying to maximize their search ranking on YouTube. Add neural network driven tools for inserting Character A into Video B to click-maximizing bots and things are going to get very weird (and nasty). 


The YouTube Kids app, by its own admission, does filter the videos to try to ensure it’s kid friendly, but it does so in an automated fashion, meaning that things like faux Peppa Pig sneak in quite easily. It works pretty much exactly like you think: You search “Peppa Pig,” and whatever videos are titled or tagged with “Peppa Pig” come up. But parents still need to watch over their kids, especially once the app begins to “suggest” other videos in the panel beneath whatever is being watched currently. Because what is suggested is often very bad.

Knock-off Peppa Pig is the stuff of nightmares. And knock-off Doc McStuffins, which my daughter also accidentally browsed to just days ago, is scary too. Kids wet the bed and scream at their parents. It’s loud. Everyone cries.

On faux McStuffins, people break legs. Bones get exposed.

image above and text below from What Looks Like Safe Kid’s Cartoons Online Can Be Hiding A Dark Secret

Look for just about any popular kid’s character — from Doc McStuffins, to Mickey Mouse to Elsa from Frozen — and you’ll find hundreds of faux online kid’s cartoons containing adult themes.

There’s even a popular YouTube channel called “Toys and Funny Kids Surprise Eggs.” Sounds innocent, right? Go to the channel’s homepage and you’d be inclined to believe it was designed specifically for children. ... you’ll quickly realize there’s nothing kid-friendly about this channel at all. 

Sometimes there are cartoon parodies created as jokes for adults. But what’s disturbing is that many of these videos were designed to specifically fool children (and adults) into thinking they’re safe. The whole purpose of these videos is to trick and then terrify our kids.

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Appreciating you sharing this, not "liking" the news at all!

I strongly recommend reading the rest of "Dude, you broke the future!" especially in relation to the prospect of AIs going so far as to shape and encourage real-world violence -- not so far-fetched when corporations have the strong goal of increasing revenue, hence doing anything possible to get people addicted to their products, and get more eyeballs on more ads.

(Don't be scared by the scrollbar barely advancing as you scroll. Most of the page is comments; the talk itself is a comfortable read. Or you can watch and listen to video.)


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