What is Elsagate on YouTube?

Inappropriate content targeted at kids on YouTube

Elsagate is a name for the mid-2010s controversy regarding inappropriate videos deemed "child-friendly" by YouTube and YouTube Kids. At first glance, these videos appear to contain only harmless kid-related content, such as a Minecraft tutorial or skits starring Elsa from Frozen. But in actuality, these videos depict kids' characters performing crude acts or placed in upsetting situations that may involve graphic violence, obscene language, sexuality, drug usage, and inappropriate humor.

Various YouTube channels have produced Elsagate content since the late-2000s, going mostly unnoticed by parents and watchdog groups (and also making a lot of money off video advertisements). However, in the mid-2010s, news outlets like The Guardian and The Verge brought the Elsagate corner of YouTube to the general public's attention.

Where does Elsagate come from?

The name Elsagate is a combination of "Elsa," the main character in the kids' movie Frozen, and "gate," which is often placed at the end of names to imply controversy, such as dressgate and emailgate. Many Elsagate videos depict the characters Elsa, Spider-Man, and/or the Joker doing weird or crude things.

These videos eventually began including other kid-related characters, such as Peppa Pig, and themes that appeared kid-friendly. Because the videos appeared kid-friendly, they often avoided YouTube and YouTube Kids' filters, allowing curious or oblivious kids to watch them.

YouTube reaction to Elsagate

In the wake of Elsagate, YouTube deleted hundreds of questionable kids-content channels and thousands of videos. The video service has also implemented stricter guidelines for content and video monetization.


After learning more about Elsagate I don't think I will ever let my kids go online

Related Slang


Updated March 9, 2022

Elsagate definition by Slang.net

This page explains what the slang term "Elsagate" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slang.net team.

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