When it comes to keeping kids entertained, sometimes the only thing a parent can do to get a moment of peace is put on a video.
While no parents would advocate letting television or online entertainment be a “babysitter,” the truth is that many parents rely on the stolen moments they gain when their child is watching Peppa Pig, even if they limit screen time. That’s why apps like YouTube Kids are so popular. Theoretically, a child can sit down with the app and watch content that’s appropriate for them, featuring the characters they know and love.
Unfortunately, the reality is much more complex. Parents have started to notice that their children have been exposed to inappropriate content on YouTube Kids, and what’s even scarier is that it’s disguised to look like the videos your kids watch on a regular basis.
Just so you know, this article will be covering sensitive topics, and some may find the images below disturbing.
A few weeks ago, the writer James Bridle published a post on Medium detailing the disturbing trend he’s noticed among children’s entertainment on YouTube Kids. The first videos he explores aren’t necessarily upsetting, but they do reveal that channels are using largely automated processes to create videos designed to game the YouTube algorithm to get a huge number of plays and thus ad revenue. This isn’t particularly shocking because YouTube channels are designed to make money. But it does get into some weird territory.
Bridle explains that these automated, algorithmic approaches to creating content for kids feel off, and they result in crazy mashups that use nursery rhymes, songs, and characters from across shows, movies, and genres. There’s nothing inherently bad about the video below, but it’s kind of weird and unsettling. But this odd use of copyrighted characters is what starts us down the path of the truly evil.
Youtube / BABYFUN TV – Latest Finger Family Songs & Rhymes
Some of the most upsetting content on YouTube Kids is disguised as a regular episode of, say, Peppa Pig. Whether it’s right away or several minutes in, these videos then turn violent, sexual, or sometimes both, exposing children to things they shouldn’t have to see. As Bridle points out, it’s easy to understand how content like this slips through the YouTube filters, but we have no idea who is creating this disturbing imagery and why.
In addition to animated content, there are also live action channels, some of which have been removed since Bridle’s article. YouTube has responded, saying it has demonetized more than 2 million videos, removing more than 150,000 of them for having inappropriate content. Still, it’s shocking that so many videos were allowed to remain up for so long, and some parents are saying this move is too little, too late.
Philip DeFranco, a parent and YouTuber with more than 5 million subscribers, recently addressed the issue on his independent news channel. In addition to explaining the issue, he outlined how parents can take steps to protect their children by monitoring their use and only playing videos from official sources.
Youtube / Philip DeFranco
(credit: James Bridle via Medium)
This is incredibly upsetting, but it’s so important that people are finally paying attention to this issue. Please share this with all the parents and grandparents you know in order to help keep kids safe. I know I will be.
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Now that December is finally here and Christmas is just around the corner, it’s that time again to gather your family for that cheesy photo nobody really wants to take.
But say you actually like sending out that Christmas card photo of your family every year, or you just want a cute, festive picture of yourself to share with your Instagram followers this holiday season. Photographer Irene Rudnyk shares some great behind-the-scenes tips for adding some magic to your photos and making them look extra dazzling.
With model Emily Brown, Rudnyk hung Christmas lights where the shoot would take place.
Rudnyk then positioned Brown in front of the hanging lights and adjacent to the window, creating a contrast between the natural light coming in and the warm light inside.
The photographer also held some lights near the lens, playing around with the effects it had on the photo.
Holding lights near Brown’s face also illuminated her in a warm glow.
Here’s one of the final photos, complete with ear muffs, a scarf, and a coffee cup.
Learn more about how Rudnyk took these stunning photos below, including what camera and settings she used.
Even if you don’t have a professional camera, using lights and the tricks Rudnyk did could still even brighten up your smartphone pictures. Be sure to check out more of Rudnyk’s work on Facebook and Instagram.
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They say to “dance like nobody is watching,” but so many people are too self conscious to actually do it.
John Lawless, a 50-year-old father from Long Island, is not one of those people who cares what others think of his dance moves. He was recently at a Janet Jackson concert with his son Kevin when he started bopping along in the stands to the Jackson 5’s hit “I Want You Back.” People around began to take notice of John’s passionate dance moves, and when a video found its way to Facebook, his moves unexpectedly went viral.
John said he’s been overwhelmed by the positivity being thrown his way, saying that it’s his son Kevin, ironically an aspiring dancer, who allowed him to shake his groove thing. “When I go to concerts with my daughter or wife, they don’t really like to let me loose,” he said.
This is too much. It definitely brought a smile to my face. We need more people like John in the world, brightening it up with their positivity!
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When we accept pets into our lives, it’s supposed to be for better or for worse.
Whether it’s behavioral issues or health problems, once you’ve committed to an animal, you’re supposed to follow through on that commitment. It’s not something that should be thrown out the window lightly.
Unfortunately, there are people out there who don’t take pet ownership seriously enough, and that can lead to issues when a pup is injured. It seems crazy that someone would abandon a dog in their time of need, but shelters see this kind of cruelty all the time. That’s how they found themselves with Tiger, a chihuahua mix with a heck of a story.
Tiger had a slipped disc in his spine, and he underwent a difficult and expensive surgery called a hemilaminectomy while under the care of his previous owners. The doctor warned them that Tiger would need some time to recover, but they soon abandoned Tiger.
After just nine days, the owners wanted Tiger to be euthanized because he still couldn’t walk and needed to be assisted when urinating and defecating. The surgeon insisted that he just needed more recovery time and created a temporary wheelchair out of PVC pipe, but the owners insisted he be put to sleep. They had a newborn on the way and didn’t have the resources to deal with a handicapped dog.
The veterinary hospital contacted The Fuzzy Pet Foundation, begging them to help, and they were able to get the owners to sign over Tiger to the rescue group. Tiger was going to be safe and cared for!
The Fuzzy Pet Foundation has been raising money on GoFundMe for Tiger’s permanent wheelchair. His prognosis is good. He’s no longer in pain, and he’s living a happy and healthy life. He may even walk on his own again, but only time will tell.
They know it will take some time to find Tiger the right home, because many (like his previous owners) are unwilling or unable to care for an animal with special needs. But they know that the right person will take on this sweet baby in time. Watch the video below for more of his story and to see him running around!
I can’t believe someone would abandon this poor pup, but I’m so glad he was rescued. Now someone will be able to enjoy his company for years to come.
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We all know that we should never leave a dog alone in the car during extreme temperatures.
When it’s not too hot or too cold, however, there’s a little bit of leeway. You might be able to pop into the store for a minute while your dog takes a breather in the car. That is, as long as your dog doesn’t figure out how to use the horn to demand you come back immediately.
One man heard continuous honking coming from a car and thought he saw a human sitting in the front seat. What he found instead is too funny for words.
Watch as he gets closer and closer to the culprit. OMG!
Youtube / ViralHog
That dog’s face is seriously EVERYTHING. What’s the funniest thing your doggo has ever done? Let us know in the comments!
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Every parent has their own method of teaching kids the basics like how to speak, use the bathroom, and memorize the alphabet. But as this guy demonstates, some are more effective than others.
While most people help their little ones learn the ABC’s through that classic song everyone knows, some parents get a little more creative. This awesome dad found an even better way to make sure his daughter knew all the letters in the alphabet, and it’s beyond adorable.
Watch as this tiny cutie gets her ABC on AND counts to the rhythm of Dad’s beatboxing.
My heart can’t take all the cuteness wrapped up in this precious video. Nice job, Dad. You’re definitely raising one smart little girl.
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With all the bad news we get hit with every day, we often overlook the things people do to make others’ lives a little easier — but this woman’s act of kindness definitely didn’t go unnoticed.
At the Huddle House diner in Douglas, Georgia, one employee named Wanda was recently recorded helping an elderly man in a small but very meaningful way. A veteran with an injured hand, he was struggling to eat his pancakes. While the younger man sitting with him moved to assist him, Wanda stepped in and started cutting the food so the two could sit back and enjoy their meal.
It took her less than a minute to do it, but her actions meant so much to those who witnessed them.
(via Daily Mail)
What an incredibly sweet gesture. If we all stopped to do something like this for others, the world would be a kinder place.
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When two dogs are bonded, being separated can cause them intense emotional stress. That’s why for these pairs, shelters do their best to find a family who’s able and willing to adopt them together.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work out, ending in the two being adopted into different homes. Such was the case for best friends Abby and Otto, two strays living together on the streets until they were both brought into the Adams County Pet Rescue in Washington. While they were initially separated and later went home with different families, their amazing story didn’t end there.
A few years ago, Alycia and Rebecca from Animal House TV were out filming an episode in a neighborhood frequented by many stray dogs. One in particular caught their eye, but they weren’t able to catch her.
Fast forward a few months and the female dog, Abby, showed up at the shelter with another dog.
The two were put into separate cages — that is, until Abby started escaping from her kennel. Shelter staff found her sitting next to the other dog, Otto, just outside of his kennel. That’s when they realized the two were a bonded pair.
Sadly, though, Abby needed to go through more training to become adoptable, while Otto was ready for a home. He was adopted, seemingly leaving his friend behind for good.
Abby was also eventually adopted into a great home. Even better was that six months later, her owners decided to add another furry member to their family and began searching for the perfect pup. At the same time, in what also seemed like an act of fate, the people who adopted Otto returned him to the shelter.
Knowing it was meant to be, Alycia and Rebecca arranged for the two dogs to meet again…
…and when they did, it was the sweetest reunion ever.
Learn more about Abby and Otto’s story below, and witness the incredible moment they were finally brought back together.
Things really couldn’t have worked out better for these adorable friends. If you want to see how they’re doing now in their new home, be sure to check out their Facebook page.
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Each day, all across the globe, thousands of trinkets and other mysterious finds wash up on shore. However, not all of them are as gruesome as what forensic scientists and detectives are investigating along the coast of Japan.
Last weekend a ghost ship washed up on the shores of Oga, Akita Prefecture during the early morning hours. More surprising than the shipwreck itself was what was found on board. The boat contained eight decomposing bodies scattered throughout the nearly 23-foot-long vessel. While initially believed to be a fishing boat that went off course, when the ship was recovered, there were no signs of fishing equipment.
After discovering the wooden ship, the conditions of the passengers would really throw a wrench in investigators’ gears.
The fact that many of their skeletons were bare suggests that they were already halfway through the stages of decomposition in the active decay process. During active decay, much of the body’s tissues are lost through liquefaction caused by microorganisms. Because of the condition of the bodies, there is no way to determine the age or sex of the crew members on sight alone.
While much of the mystery surrounding the ghost ship is still unknown, it is widely speculated that the ship in question is from North Korea.
The Japanese coastguard has confirmed that during the time of the ship’s landing, there were no Japanese ships reported missing. Another clue to the origins of the boat lies in a packet of cigarettes found inside the boat. It is believed that the cigarettes in question were produced in North Korea.
However, the washing ashore of the ghost ship is only the latest in unusual happenings along Japan’s coast.
Just days before the ghost ship’s arrival, another North Korean boat washed ashore just a few miles away from the most recent shore discovery. This time, however, eight men were found hovering along the marina at night. It is believed that the boat drifted into port after the ship’s engine broke down. Members of the Japanese coast guard also rescued three crew members earlier last month after their boat sank nearly 180 miles from shore. The rest of the 15-passenger crew was lost at sea.
It is reported that in 2017 alone, there have been nearly 40 incidents involving people and/or ships washing ashore along the coast of Japan. Over the last five years, that number is believed to be well over 500.
While it is not 100 percent clear that all these boats are from North Korea, if true, these ghost ships paint a horrifying picture of what it’s like living under the rule of Kim Jong-Un, desperate to get out.
According to director of Asian Studies at the Japan campus of Temple University, Jeff Kingston, North Korea is in the middle of a serious food shortage. It is reported that leaders of the country are forcing their fishermen to delve deeper into the unexplored water in order to produce bountiful catches. However, the poor conditions of the country’s vessels, in addition to the Sea of Japan’s rough waters, may be to blame for the overabundance of ships washing ashore in Japan. Others have speculated that the ships are containing refugees who had hopes of escaping the cruel dictatorship of Kim Jong-Un.
(via USA Today and IFL Science)
If these are just the reports of vessels that have made it to shore, I wonder how many more have been lost forever in the depths.
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In 2013, six former Bosnian Croat officials were given prison sentences after being convicted for war crimes against Bosnian Muslims, including rape and murder, that took place during the Croat-Bosniak War in the early 1990s.
Slobodan Praljak, former assistant defense minister of Croatia and commander of the Croatian Defense Council, had helped secure weapons and ammunition for the Croatian Defense Council army. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
In an appeal hearing for the six convicted war criminals on November 29, Praljak stood before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Netherlands. When the judge upheld his sentence, the 72-year-old pulled out a small vial he’d sneaked in and drank from it, stating the liquid inside was poison.
After yelling he wasn’t a war criminal and that he rejected the verdict, Praljak swallowed the unidentified liquid. Watch the courtroom footage below.
(via Huffington Post and CNN)
The judge immediately suspended the hearings, with authorities declaring the courtroom a crime scene. Praljak was taken by ambulance to a hospital in The Hague, but he died shortly after.
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