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Friday, October 12 • 4:00pm - 5:30pm
YouTube, young people, and children

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THE AMBIVALENCE OF PEPPA PIG: YOUTUBE CHILDREN'S CONTENT, MEMETIC CONTROVERSIES, AND PLATFORM LITERACY
Jean Burgess
In the popular imagination, YouTube has always been connected to persistent social anxieties young people and digital media. There has been a recent increase in adult anxieties about children inadvertently being exposed to inappropriate content, not only through the platform's regular recommended videos or search algorithms, but even through the YouTube Kids app - manifesting in public controversies about kids' content on YouTube. Drawing on textual analysis of videos captured via a range of keywords searches of the YouTube platform as well as related ancillary materials, this paper teases out a number of dimensions to one such controversy, grounded in the media coverage of 'fake Peppa Pig' videos in mid to late 2017. It finds that while the controversy has opened up public debates around data ethics, content regulation and platform cultures considerably, there remain several key limitations to the public debate which can be productively opened up further by scholars, journalists, and the public.

RESPONDING TO ‘SOMETHING IS WRONG ON THE INTERNET’: A YOUTUBE KIDS APPLICATION WALKTHROUGH
Jarrod William Walczer
The YouTube Kids mobile application has been hotly contested by content creators, industry executives, and policy makers in the global children’s media industry as well as by parents and guardians of small children. This paper explains an application walkthrough of YouTube Kids in response to concerns about dubious satires of popular children’s content slipping through YouTube’s platform filters. These debates have resurfaced in popular culture following the publication of ‘Something is wrong on the Internet’ (Bridle, 2017). Bridle details how content creators are creating graphic and violent satires of mainstream children’s brands, like Peppa Pig, and generating advertising revenue from their views, despite the fact that they may be unsettling for viewers. These videos are often placed alongside the non-satirized versions in the ‘Suggested Videos’ sidebar. With little ability to distinguish between content via video thumbnails alone, children are at risk of being exposed to their favorite characters committing unsavory acts. To examine this, I have conducted application walkthroughs of the YouTube Kids application using Burgess, Light, and Duguay’s (2016) method. The method has allowed me to interrogate the socio-cultural and economics implications of YouTube Kids’ application registry and entry, its everyday uses, and the discontinuation or suspension of its use by taking rigorous scientific notation and screenshots and analyzing them within the application’s spatiotemporal contexts. I illustrate the application’s potential patterns of use, the platform’s affordances, and the lack of capabilities for interactivity, paying particular attention to the search engine function, running multiple example queries to interrogate Bridle’s concerns.

"LIKE, COMMENT AND SUBSCRIBE" EXAMINING THE ROLE OF PROFESSIONAL YOUTUBERS IN YOUNG PEOPLE'S HEALTH BEHAVIOURS AND IDENTITIES IN THE UK
Jane Harris
In the United Kingdom, there are over 150 individual YouTubers with >1 million subscribers. A significant proportion of their audience are aged between 13-18 years. The content they produce is often: commercially sponsored, unregulated and both purposefully and accidentally touches on a whole range of health topics including: mental health, alcohol, sexual health, body image, healthy eating and physical activity. YouTubers could represent a particularly relatable source of health information for young people as a magnified version of young people’s own searchable and replicable online socially networked lives.

The aim of the research is to explore the role that professional YouTubers play in young people health behaviours and identities in the UK.

The study was a four stage, sequential mixed methods design. The first stage, a school based questionnaire (n=931, 13-18 years) quantified young people’s YouTuber engagement and provided a sampling frame for the later qualitative stages. An online analysis of 7 UK YouTubers examined the health content they produced. Focus groups (n=7, 85 participants) with 13-18 year olds explored the impact this content had on young people’s health behaviours and interviews with professional YouTubers (

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avatar for Jean Burgess

Jean Burgess

Professor and Director, Digital Media Research Centre, QUT


Friday October 12, 2018 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Sheraton - Drummond West

Attendees (21)