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Author Topic: Youtube and Google+ comments, Chrome profile syncing and CHILDREN  (Read 1356 times)

Offline witchdoctor

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Now the part where I out myself as a bad parent: my children have unfettered access to the internet on tablets. AVG cloudcare does some good content filtering on the one PC they share atm, but the tablets are a no man's land. Additionally, my two older children have gmail accounts, because the wife got tired of them burning through her (free)Pandora hours each month and ruining her stations so I "did something" about it.

Since I bothered to make g-mail accounts(to tie to there Pandora accounts full of BEIBER and "Old McDonald Had A Farm"), I set up Chrome browser syncing to make their browsing(and my snooping if need be) more convenient, and at the time I thought I had signed into the YouYube app on their tablets with those profiles as well. I'm still not sure if they managed to switch to other profiles loaded on the tablets or I was simply wrong(and I've wiped the tablets down so ONLY their accounts exist on them now just in case), but of course we eventually/recently found them watching stuff that made my wife and I uncomfortable. Whatever you're thinking, suicide and obesity documentaries are no more appropriate for 6-year-olds, I assure you. The surprising part was this stemmed from my wife's account, stuff she had reviewed for her social work classes or YouTube somehow knowing she used to watch Hoarders, idk, but that's not even what brings this post on.

No, you see, now the kids are signed in to their accounts in the YouTube app, its constantly prompting them to create Google+ accounts(didn't prompt previously because my wife and I each have profiles)... The gmail accounts are bad enough(though they don't know how to get to the gmail part just yet...), my kids do NOT need social media accounts, even anonymized ones as I've endeavored to render their.

You might be thinking "Why not just leave them logged out?" to which I reply "Have you SEEN what YouTube calls a landing page these days?" ...as to why not just remove YouTube, well, its a built in app on these devices and I'm not rooting something my kids use, sorry, never-mind they that like watching the YouTube videos their teachers show them in school more than anything, stuff like "the ABC song" and "count to 100".

So who is crazier, me or Google? No really, if anyone has anything to share on this topic beyond "sucks to be you" or "stop whining", I would appreciate it. Members might want to review this thread before diving in. YouTube is a conundrum, and in that regard its only getting worse.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2013, 05:31:24 AM by witchdoctor »

Offline edpallo

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Re: Youtube and Google+ comments, Chrome profile syncing and CHILDREN
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2013, 09:40:31 AM »
Interesting point of view.  Kinda like the "chicken and the egg", which came first?

My 2 cents worth: you as a parent, need to decide what content is appropriate, and reward your kids for using same.  You also need to decide what is inappropriate and scold/reprimand your children if they are using it. Just like network security, you need to use a layered approach to "new media" use (or abuse as appropriate). I personally used (and still like) OpenDNS for the first layer of my home network security.  Very granular on the topics it can filter (but not YouTube language).

IMHO, if a teacher is using YouTube in the class, it means they are just lazy and looking for a way to "put in time" during the day.  Is YouTube listed in approved curriculum these days?

No easy answers to your topic.  There is no manual in parenting (well there are tons of them, but none come with a warranty) so you have to use your best judgment, and hope your kids will grow up to fine, upstanding citizens.

Offline Todd Hughes

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Re: Youtube and Google+ comments, Chrome profile syncing and CHILDREN
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2013, 10:53:20 AM »
Tough one Doc. It seems that if you want to have any use of any content at all on the internet these days you will absolutely be subjected to snooping, privacy violations, targeted advertising and more, whether you like it or not. And....whether you are aware of and consent to it or not.

EP was right when he suggested the layered approach and it sounds like that is what you have implemented. Perhaps a WCF as provided by IPCop, Endian FW, Smoothwall, Untangle, etc, will give you another layer? Unfortunately, just as in network security (and everything else for that matter) it all comes down to the end user. Technical controls are no match for the people aspect of the equation. I'm sure you have educated your kids, trained them on proper use and how to handle situations involving inappropriate content, etc. There's only so much a parent can do; ultimately you have to rely on them doing the right thing. 
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Offline bfarmer

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Re: Youtube and Google+ comments, Chrome profile syncing and CHILDREN
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2013, 12:15:09 PM »
My kids had to use the family PC until I felt they were old enough to do whatever they wanted online. That PC was in the living room in full view of anyone in the house.

I'll second Todd's comment on filtering, but unfortunately, you probably won't be able to differentiate between good and bad Youtube videos, it will likely be allow or deny Youtube.

Offline Rick Savoia

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Re: Youtube and Google+ comments, Chrome profile syncing and CHILDREN
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2013, 03:10:03 PM »
I sympathize completely. Unfortunately, aside from the very basic "safe mode" (which only filters out what Google considers legally inappropriate) there are no real controls for parents.

A few years ago it was actually easier, because we could keep the computers together in a communal area (my home office) and actively monitor what the kids were doing. Of course, it meant they could monitor what their parents were doing as well, which kept everyone on the level.

Now that my kids are older and their computers are in their rooms, it is much more complicated. The fact that they are now in their early teens is irrelevant to the content. They are still minors and still very impressionable. (I won't go into the details but take my word for it, they are not emotionally ready to handle more mature themes).

When I was a kid my parents didn't have to worry about any of this stuff. The Internet wasn't around as we know it and, although this type of content existed, it was not in your face and was certainly not available at the click of a mouse, even to adults. If you wanted to find it, you had to go looking for it, if you knew where to look.

Now it's all over the place, in plain view, and its a parent's nightmare. This happened in one generation and those of us who grew up without it are not only trying to figure out how to protect our children, we're trying to figure out how control and cope with it ourselves.

My daughter is an extremely talented artist and her computer is equipped with a drawing tablet, scanner and a lot of software tools to help her build her portfolio. You see some of her simple work with pixels here in these forums in a couple of animated smileys. She creates all the artwork for my son's gaming web site, their podcast and videos. She has a gallery on Deviant Art, which is part of the problem, because she also has access to the works of others that we consider inappropriate for kids. That is an ongoing issue and it isn't easy to deal with, because, like youtube, there isn't a lot of filtering that parents can control.

My son started a blog for Nintendo gaming when he was thirteen. He also produces a gaming podcast twice a month, which he hosts with his sister. He just started producing unboxing and review videos for his site so he has a youtube account. He buys and sells his games on eBay so he has both an eBay and PayPal account. He is also a ham radio operator and has turned his room into somewhat of a ham shack. He is very connected to the Internet for all of these activities. He is constantly on his laptop in his room to blog, edit his podcasts, do ham stuff and his homework (he is working on a school project now as I write this).

The downside is that he constantly has to deal with the dark side of the internet. Not long ago he and his sister had to perform a massive cleanup on his site from porn spammers. StopForumSpam went down during the night and the spammers hit the site hard, posting somewhere between forty and fifty graphic images in his forum. They were in the process of cleaning it up when I saw it. My son had a difficult time dealing with it. This was not something I was particularly trained to deal with as a parent and although I think I did the best I could, there really wasn't much I could do after the fact except counsel him about it. For those who don't have kids, it may not seem like a big deal, but it is. It's a parent's nightmare. I want to protect them from this sort of thing, but what can I do? Today's society won't let me. It actually works against me. As parents, we are still ultimately responsible for our children. Yet our hands are ultimately tied so that we can't do our jobs. Then we ultimately get the blame when things go wrong.

I don't have an answer for you, because my family struggles with it too. On the one hand, computers are a great tool for doing homework, learning new technical skills and honing natural talents. On the other hand, it's a window to a much darker world that can leave a permanent scar on a young, impressionable mind. It's a difficult time to be a parent.

Offline witchdoctor

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Re: Youtube and Google+ comments, Chrome profile syncing and CHILDREN
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2013, 11:01:17 PM »
I'm not at the point where I am actually concerned about inappropriate content just yet. My children don't want to see it and they ask us to get them to the videos they want, which other than Bratz and other ridiculous new "edgy"/"girls" cartoons, is the stuff we are ok with. Until recently, we did not realize they weren't just being shown the landing pages, and by and large they know how to get to their content, but you know how it is. You get bored of working around what you assume is the "normal" way of doing things, and you take a look. They are not aware these videos were based on our profile histories, and really YouTube.com, if you are not logged in, is no better a starting point.

If Pandora worked like Netflix, with multiple profiles and simultaneous streams for one account for a reasonable dollar amount extra, this never would have come up, and since Pandora is a paid/premium service this might actually come to pass eventually, but YouTube... I honestly think if they want to monetize it beyond ads, this is a killer feature I would pay for. Now I think about it, it might actually be time to use my Google Apps account to set up profiles I can control... except YouTube isn't one of the apps to be configured like so. ...almost forgot my premise. Its not content filtering I am worried about, its my children meddling in social media accounts before they can understand the dangers. Basically, this adds up to another anti-Google+-integration rant, from a slightly different angle ...sorry.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2013, 11:14:53 PM by witchdoctor »

Offline Todd Hughes

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Re: Youtube and Google+ comments, Chrome profile syncing and CHILDREN
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2013, 11:05:03 AM »
.....Its not content filtering I am worried about, its my children meddling in social media accounts before they can understand the dangers.

Gotcha. That's a tough one without any simple answers.
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Offline witchdoctor

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Re: Youtube and Google+ comments, Chrome profile syncing and CHILDREN
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2013, 08:17:40 PM »
This actually got amusing. My wife's history turned out to be "worse" than my own, even though the particular account of mine the one tablet was signed into was one I named and set up, so I thought, to troll the worst and "interesting" bits of youtube(think Wired meets The Man Show). 3000 power ranger videos into the history(my children's work), I decided, "ok, but I named this after my trolling identity, surely I commented on something awful with it?" ... ONE comment, on an EVE Online video. I fail as a Youtube troll. That's apparently what I use Tumblr and Disqus for.

That account was based on the Gmail account I use to purchase play store apps, so I can put purchases on all our devices without giving everyone access to my real e-mails.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2013, 08:20:07 PM by witchdoctor »