Thank you for taking the time to write this — and for undergoing the nontrivial amount of psychological distress it surely took to wade through the examples.
I noticed the same thing and quickly went in exhaustion from “careful supervision of any youtube use” to “we just don’t have youtube anymore” for my own young son.
Unfortunately I don’t think there’s a really good answer other than that one. You’re right in that the system follows its own internal logic, producing results that don’t always align (at all) with human values.
Algorithmic generation of abusive content is a special case of a much more general problem (and a much more scary one), and there too we don’t have good answers yet.
The best thing I’ve read on the general-case problem of structural misalignment at scale is Scott Alexander’s Meditations on Moloch. I wouldn’t say it’s particularly good news, or going to make anyone feel any better. But it’s probably the best direction.
Anyway thanks for taking the time here. Nicely done.