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If you leave a toddler alone with an iPad long enough, YouTube‘s algorithms will guide her down a deep, dark rabbit hole of strange, low-quality, and often disturbing videos manufactured for kid consumption. These channels use recognizable characters (Mickey Mouse, Paw Patrol) to draw kids into clickbait narratives that they can’t resist watching: Minnie Mouse being crushed by an escalator, Elsa and Spider-man tickling each other, or a love triangle between three Disney characters that results in an unplanned pregnancy.
Who is making these videos? Why? What effect are they having on a generation of connected kids? And what is YouTube doing about it?
This week on 2 Girls 1 Podcast, Alli and Jen (actors who perform weird internet stuff on stage) talk with journalist K.G. Orphanides who has written extensively about YouTube’s strange kid content underbelly.
Listen to the show:
This week’s episode is supported by Penguin Random House Audio, which publishes thousands of award-winning audiobooks every year, including your sci-fi and fantasy favorites like Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and Hank Green’s novels. Download Penguin Random House Audiobooks wherever you listen to your favorite audiobooks (Audible, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.) or check out this page to browse their latest selection.
2 Girls 1 Podcast is also supported by listeners. A lot of time and resources go into research, booking, editing, and publishing this show. If you love internet culture as much as we love ’casting about it, consider a contribution of $1 or $2 per month to help offset our production costs. Become a patron of #2G1P and earn some cool perks while you’re at it:
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Matt Silverman is the director of video and producer of 2 Girls 1 Podcast at the Daily Dot. He has been making internet shows and viral videos for nearly a decade, and has directed top talent including John Oliver, Kevin Bacon, Kate McKinnon, Alton Brown, and the Sesame Street Muppets. Silverman is also the creator of FREE DAD VIDEOS, a comedy and music channel with his young children.