We certainly recognize this concern.
Hats & Ladders embeds YouTube videos throughout its Ladder activities using the YouTube player. We use YouTube videos because there is currently no other video platform that provides a comparable level of content and features (including language supports such as closed captioning). Hats & Ladders carefully selects videos based on the relevancy, accessibility, and accuracy of their content and their ability to engage youth.
Hats & Ladders limits access to non-curated YouTube videos. For the vast majority of video content in Hats & Ladders (and all of the video content that users are required to watch in order to make progress in the app), we show the videos within the Hats & Ladders app itself. Because users do NOT leave the app to view this content, they are not exposed to YouTube’s full video feed, which only appears on the YouTube site itself.
When a video excerpt ends, the YouTube player may sometimes suggest another related video on the same topic, but we have found that this generally is a similarly educational video, not one on a completely unrelated or potentially objectionable topic as might appear on the YouTube site itself.
For the videos that have advertisements, the format and content of the ads is determined by the video content creators and YouTube. Unfortunately, YouTube does not currently offer Hats & Ladders a way to turn off the ads for all users.
The only way to experience YouTube ad-free is to become a YouTube Premium subscriber, https://www.youtube.com/premium. (The cost for an individual plan is currently $11.99/month after a 1 month free trial; some universities also provide discounted student plans). Although it has a cost (if used for more than a month), we believe that individual families for whom the advertising on YouTube is particularly objectionable might consider this option.
If you have concerns about the appropriateness of a video that Hats & Ladders has embedded, please reach out to us.