The disturbing YouTube videos that are tricking children

Thousands of videos on YouTube look like versions of popular cartoons but contain disturbing and inappropriate content not suitable for children.

If you're not paying much attention, it might look like an ordinary video featuring Peppa Pig, the cheeky porcine star of her own animated series. But soon after pressing play on this particular YouTube clip, the plot turns dark. A dentist with a huge syringe appears. Peppa's teeth get pulled out. Distressed crying can be heard on the soundtrack.

Parent and journalist Laura June almost immediately noticed something was not quite right as her three-year-old daughter was watching it.

"Peppa does a lot of screaming and crying and the dentist is just a bit sadistic and it's just way, way off what a three-year-old should watch," June says. She wrote about her experiences on the website The Outline.

"But the animation is like close enough to looking like Peppa - it's crude but it's close enough that my daughter was like 'This is Peppa Pig.'"

It's far from an isolated case - BBC Trending has found hundreds of similar videos of children's cartoon characters with inappropriate themes. In addition to Peppa Pig, there are similar videos featuring characters from the Disney movie Frozen, the Minions franchise, Doc McStuffins, Thomas the Tank Engine, and many more.

For more information visit the BBC website.