A mother has issued a warning to other parents after coming across cartoons on YouTube showing Peppa Pig being mutilated and tortured.
Deborah Henley made the discovery after watching what she believed to be videos of the popular children’s character on the video streaming platform with her daughter.
In the video, the fake cartoon appears seemingly as normal for the first two or three minutes before showing Peppa and other characters being attacked and tortured.
“Please please please monitor what your kids are watching on YouTube or Kids YouTube,” the mum wrote in a Facebook post.
“If they’re going to watch shows, watch with them! Supervision is so important. There’s some things that are just NOT for kids but disguised as kids’ shows with kids’ characters.
“I screen shotted [sic] these just now watching Peppa Pig with my daughter. Peppa Pig is weird enough but this channel has taken the likeness of the characters and twisted them with scary weird themes… comments say that kids are left crying.
“The thumbnails do change often so be careful. One you think is okay will suddenly have a horrible thumbnail on it.”
Speaking to Yahoo UK about the terrifying discovery Deborah said she hopes by sharing the post it will raise awareness for other parents.
“Having young children who watch YouTube for Peppa Pig it was a massive shock, we’re on a YouTube ban in our house now,” she told us.
Deborah now hopes that censorship of the site is increased.
“I would like to think maybe in future either what’s put on is reviewed before it’s allowed or only official channels are allowed to upload to prevent this happening again.”
Other parents have also shared similar experiences on social media, with some detailing a video which appeared like en episode of Paw Patrol, but where a character swallowed a bottle of pills halfway through.
In 2017 YouTube revealed it had updated it’s policies in a bit to prevent inappropriate content from appearing on the app, but it relies, in part, on parents bringing the disturbing content to the company’s attention.
Yahoo UK contacted YouTube for comment, and a YouTube spokesperson said: “We work to ensure the videos in YouTube Kids are family-friendly and take feedback very seriously. We appreciate people drawing problematic content to our attention, and make it possible for anyone to flag a video.
“Flagged videos are manually reviewed 24/7 and any videos that don’t belong in the app are removed. We’ve also been investing in new controls for parents including the ability to hand pick videos and channels in the app. We are making constant improvements to our systems and recognise there’s more work to do.”
They also pointed out that YouTube kids app is a separate app to YouTube. Videos available in the kids app are determined by a mix of human supervised machines, user input and human review.
There is also a ‘search on, search off’ function in YouTube kids which when set to ‘search off’ restricts children to a more limited set of videos.
The company also pointed out that YouTube.com is not a site for kids under 13 and they don’t allow users under 13 to create or own accounts on YouTube.
In less scary Peppa Pig news American parents are noticing that their little ones are beginning to speak just like the characters in the show by developing a British accent.
The unusual impact was first reported on parenting site Romper, by US mum and writer Janet Manley who dubbed it the ‘Peppa effect’.