A viral post is circulating on social media about a child accidentally stumbling across a video called ‘Evil Santa’ on YouTube Kids. The video allegedly features Santa telling the child to harm themselves and others to get more presents. The post has been shared widely on social media, worrying parents, carers, and safeguarding professionals alike.
Whilst the video itself cannot be sourced or found, it appears that a concerned parent may have shared a post outlining the child’s description of what they said, they saw.
We have not been able to find evidence of these videos online and assess that the greatest risk at present is driven by people re-sharing this post with others.
We know from viral hoaxes that when they are reshared, they tend to amplify anxiety and influence search algorithms. Our researchers found this to be the case; the term ‘Evil Santa’ has indeed begun to spike on Google Trends.
Our online safety experts will continue to monitor this situation and keep you informed of any developments.