How child predators are exposing children to sexual material and drug use by adding vile footage to YouTube videos of kids’ favourite characters like Frozen’s Elsa
- Predators are manipulating YouTube videos to show violent and sexual content
- Children are being exposed to the violence while watching YouTube videos
- The online phenomenon ‘ElsaGate’ is littered across seemingly innocent sites
Children’s YouTube videos are being manipulated by predators to show their most beloved characters engaging in violent and sexual behaviour.
Characters such as Elsa and Spider-Man have been edited into videos performing the highly disturbing acts in an online phenomenon dubbed ‘ElsaGate’.
The saga, which has reportedly been going on relatively unnoticed since 2017, shows videos online that appear to be family-friendly.
But once children click onto the link several characters appear in highly edited, disturbing scenes, in some cases having sex, using drugs and even murdering each other.
Popular children’s characters like Frozen’s Elsa (pictured) have been manipulated into performing disturbing acts on YouTube videos aimed at kids
Sydney mum Louise Edmonds was horrified to discover her own young daughter was just one of thousands of children being exposed to the graphic footage.
She was watching a video of My Little Pony on the popular YouTube Kids app when she suddenly started screaming.
The horrified mother picked up the iPad to see one of the male characters masturbating underneath a bed cover.
‘She started with the original version that was on YouTube, and as the “auto-play” came into action, a third-party animated video came up which was a 2D-style comic of the original version,’ Ms Edmonds told The Daily Telegraph.
‘The next thing I knew, my daughter was running away from the screen, saying, “turn it off Mummy, turn it off”.
Ms Edmonds claimed she reported the disturbing video several times to YouTube but was unable to have it taken down.
Some of the other online videos posing as family friendly content show cartoon characters killing themselves, terminating pregnancies, rape and extreme violence.
One mother said her daughter was watching a clip of My Little Pony (pictured) when a character appeared to be masturbating on screen
Expert James Bridle, a writer who focused on the impacts of technology and the internet, labelled the videos as ‘abuse’.
‘To expose children to this content is abuse,’ he wrote on his blog.
‘What we’re talking about is very young children, effectively from birth, being deliberately targeted with content which will traumatise and disturb them, via networks which are extremely vulnerable to exactly this form of abuse.
‘This is being done by people and by things and by a combination of things and people. Responsibility for its outcomes is impossible to assign but the damage is very, very real indeed.’
Michael Salter, Associate Professor of Criminology at UNSW, said it was likely people were targeting children’s videos because of their popularity and could gain financial benefits.
‘Social media platforms financially reward users who make popular videos, even when that content is amoral and harmful to children,’ he said.
One of the reasons believed to be behind ‘ElsaGate’ is money as children’s videos have up to billions of views on YouTube