SAN BRUNO, CA—In the midst of a scare over the "Momo challenge" hoax that's sweeping the internet once again, YouTube has warned parents that some users are uploading videos purportedly containing innocent children's content, only to have the stream cut to frightening footage of Joel Osteen preaching the prosperity gospel partway through.
Children will begin watching a seemingly innocent video meant for toddlers to learn shapes, letters, and colors, only to have the footage suddenly cut to Osteen preaching about naming and claiming a better life in the name of Jesus. YouTube representatives claimed the company is working quickly to remove any videos they find with the creepy, smiling preacher and that parents should be cautious until the issue is resolved.
"My 3-year-old came up to me and started talking about how he was going to claim his destiny through the power of his words," one tearful mother in Connecticut said. "I was shocked. I asked him where he learned such horrible language and he said 'The smiling man on the videos.'"
The mother scoured the boy's YouTube history and was horrified to find that several videos he'd watched had contained surprise footage of the Word-Faith preacher partway through.
Young YouTube Kids viewers across the country began weeping or running away screaming as Osteen's face appeared on their screens.
"You've really got to be careful out there," one parent said. "Keep an eye on your kids using the internet---once they see an Osteen sermon or a Benny Hinn faith-healing service, they can't ever unsee it."