New Tube vs. Old Tube

Teens may watch the least amount of television but that doesn't mean questionable media is out of their reach.

According to the Hollywood Reporter,  a study conducted by Deloitte Services found that young adults aged 14-25 consume the most media but only spend 10.5 hours in front of the TV.  Their media diet, researchers founds, consists largely of video games, music and the Internet.

Interestingly, the Parents Television Council released its latest study The “New” Tube, the day before Deloitte's study and found that material on the the popular video site YouTube is more explicit than what can be found on television.  Tim Winter, PTC's President, pointed out that nearly half of children between the age of 13 and 17 listed YouTube as one of their top three favorite websites. 

PTC's analysis revealed that, “extremely graphic content and harsh profanity are just a click away for kids entering seemingly innocent search terms on YouTube.”

Researchers found an enormous amount of graphic and adult-themed content in the 20 highest-ranked videos on the site.  Additionally, twenty-eight percent of videos collected under the search term “porn” lacked safeguarding through age verification, indicating anybody, no matter how young could access adult content.  Thirty-six percent of those videos included ads and/or links to other porn sites. 

Even kid-friendly search terms such as popular teen idols “Hannah Montana” and “Jonas Brothers” turned up explicit items such as links to “ads for triple-X pornography – often without even requiring age verification links to,” the report states.

 “…No parent can afford to ignore these findings,” Winter said in a press release. “ The results of this study should serve as a wake-up call for any parent concerned about graphic or indecent material on websites they perceive to be 'safe' for their children,” said Winter.

Researchers did note that YouTube “will impose stricter standards for what qualifies as 'sexually suggestive' material subject to age-restricted viewing, and videos containing such content will be 'alogrithmically demoted” on the Most Viewed, Top Favorites and other browse pages. 

That's not enough, according to Winter.  He stated, ““While we applaud YouTube for its commitment to gating procedures and its recently announced plans to curb inappropriate content, the core implication of our analysis is that the site isn't doing enough to protect kids.”

Erin Brown is an intern at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center. CMI research assistant Colleen Raezler contributed to this report.