Many YouTube users have claimed they encounter "troubling videos".
According to a new study, more than 60 per cent of users on the video sharing website have also seen content that is "obviously false" or "suitable for children".
A report by the Pew Research Centre has found that more than a third of parents allow children aged 11 or under to watch videos on the site, despite the platform being intended for teenagers and older.
Meanwhile, the study - which is based on a survey of 4,584 US adults - also found that roughly half of the site's users go to the site for instructional videos.
YouTube itself has come under fire after the platform deleted - and later restored - videos showing a suffragette being killed in a number of ways in 'Red Dead Redemption'.
It was the first response of its kind to graphic violence in a mainstream video game, but after backlash the company has said it made a "mistake".
The clips are now restricted to only be viewable by over-18s, and YouTube's head of gaming has blamed the deletions on a misunderstanding of the site's community guidelines.
Ryan Wyatt tweeted: "The reviewer will be educated on this outcome and on how to avoid repeating this mistake."
A spokeswoman later added: "YouTube's community guidelines prohibit among other things, gratuitous violence, nudity, dangerous and illegal activities, and hate speech.
"Creative formats such as video games can be challenging to assess but when content crosses the line and is flagged to our attention, we take action as necessary."