A Florida pediatrician found a suicide tip spliced in the middle of a video posted to the YouTube Kids app, WFTX-TV reported.
The clip is of a popular Nintendo game called Splatoon, CBS News said — except for an unrelated portion in the middle showing a person saying, "Remember kids, sideways for attention, longways for results. End it."
According to the Washington Post, the person appeared to be holding an imaginary blade to the inside of his arm. His "longways" motion went from the bottom of his hand and down his forearm toward his elbow.
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The man featured is YouTuber Filthy Frank, who has over 6.2 million subscribers and calls himself "the embodiment of everything a person should not be," although there is no evidence that Frank, whose real name is George Miller, was involved in creating the doctored video. He did not immediately respond to CBS News' request for comment.
Dr. Free Hess of Gainesville posted the video on her PediMom Facebook page.
Hess told WFTX she's trying to warn other parents about such videos.
"I believe this cartoon was up for about six months prior to it coming down," she told the station.
What happened to the video?
It's hard to say what happened to the video, as it appears to have been taken down and re-uploaded numerous times.
As recently as Sunday, Hess noted on her Facebook page that she recorded a version of the clip "directly from YouTube Kids" that very afternoon. YouTube told WFTX the video violates its community guidelines, and a spokesperson said in part, "We work hard to ensure YouTube is not used to encourage dangerous behavior, and we have strict policies that prohibit videos which promote self-harm."
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Earlier this month, she found a second one — this time on YouTube.com. She recorded it, wrote about it, and reported the content to the video-sharing platform, she said. The video was taken down.
Another version was reposted Feb. 12, receiving more than 1,000 views before it, too, was removed from the site.
YouTube Kids is meant as a kid-friendly version of YouTube for children 8 years old and under, CBS News said, but trolls have founds ways around YouTube's algorithm and are posting the potentially harmful videos.
Hess added to CBS News that she made it her mission to bring awareness to disturbing and violent content children consume on social media after seeing higher rates of suicide in children in her own emergency room over the last few years.
She told the network Friday that she found and reported seven more disturbing videos on YouTube Kids — including two Minecraft videos depicting shootings, a cartoon that suggests human trafficking, a clip about a child who committed suicide by stabbing, and another video about a girl who attempted suicide by hanging.
"I had to stop, but I could have kept going," Hess told CBS News. "Once you start looking into it, things get darker and weirder. I don't understand how it's not getting caught."
"But we have to start doing something NOW and we should start by educating ourselves, educating our children, and speaking up when we see something that is dangerous for our children," Hess added on her PediMom blog. "We also need to fight to have the developers of social media platforms held responsible when they do not assure that age restrictions are followed and when they do not remove inappropriate and/or dangerous material when reported."