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Brace yourselves, the Evil Santa YouTube video is 2021's terrifying hoax

Yasmine Leung November 3, 2021

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A recent Facebook post warning parents about the danger of an Evil Santa 2021 YouTube video has gone viral, but how true is the story?

Every parent needs a breather, and that’s when the internet can step in to keep them occupied for a while.

However, the danger of inappropriate material on the net is well documented so young children shouldn’t be unsupervised while surfing the web. That’s why parental restrictions exist!

But unsuitable content occasionally squeezes its way through the filter, and that’s apparently what happened to one concerned mother.

The story of YouTube’s Evil Santa 2021

An online child safety team based in Newcastle, UK, uploaded a supposed true account on their Facebook about the existence of an Evil Santa YouTube video.

A five-year-old boy had allegedly told his mother he was going to stab himself in the stomach because Evil Santa told him it was the only way he’d get presents.

He wasn’t allowed to tell anyone and the more people he killed, the more presents he’d receive.

The alarmed mother asked her child to show her Santa, but he replied: “You can’t find him mummy, he finds you and gives you tasks and if you don’t complete them he will come get you in your sleep.”

The mother was complaining, claiming she paid extra for parental controls on the YouTube Kids channel.

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The internet is convinced it’s a hoax

Creepypastas have become increasingly common due to quick sharing of information on the internet, where stories can turn viral easily. Even if something is untrue, it’s possible for rumours to become ‘fact’ if everyone buys into it.

While worried parents have been replying to the Facebook post complaining how “sick” it is, others aren’t so convinced the story is true.

They’re pointing out YouTube Kids already has free parental controls – so how can the mum be paying extra?

It is true there are different content settings available depending on the age of the child but then there’s also the history tab to view watched videos.

One user replied:

“I think this is a load of rubbish. You can check the history and see every single video your kids watched. I know if it was my kid I’d check each individual video. They could’ve found it if it was true and they really were that terrified.”

Another commented:

“The only truth here is that it’s a story. You don’t pay for YouTube kids, you can pay to remove ads.”

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Is it Momo 2.0?

Social media users are comparing Evil Santa to previous internet hoaxes such as the Momo Challenge and Blue Whale Challenge, both of which directed participants to harm themselves.

Reports claimed the Momo Challenge encouraged children to commit violent acts through a WhatsApp message from users with a terrifying profile picture of a woman with bulging eyes.

Similarly, the Blue Whale Challenge disguised itself as a game spanning 50 days. It began its rounds on social media after spreading from Russian platform VK.

What is Elsagate?

Child-inappropriate themes disguised in YouTube videos are labelled ‘Elsagate’, a combination of Frozen’s ‘Elsa’, who is often used in these videos, and ‘gate’, a suffix for scandal.

Spider-Man and The Joker are also popular characters used to lure children in Elsagate cases.

The term is becoming increasingly known thanks to the subreddit r/elsagate, a community that notifies and identifies new suspicious content.

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Yasmine is a third-year Anthropology and Media student at Goldsmiths University with a new obsession with League of Legends, despite being really bad. She's always on social media keeping on top of the latest news and trends and is HITC’s expert in Korean pop culture. She also loves music, TV and fashion - her favourite things to write about.