Published: Tue, February 26, 2019
Money | By Arnold Ball

YouTube Is Scrambling, Again, to Fix Its Child Predation Problem

YouTube Is Scrambling, Again, to Fix Its Child Predation Problem

The scandal poses a challenge for YouTube because the videos themselves are not necessarily problematic. In many of them, children are playing or trying on clothes, and while this could be considered harmless content, the comments sections are filled with child predators sharing links to worse content or directing other pedophiles to moments in the videos. So far, companies like Disney and Nestle have suspended their advertising on YouTube.

The subtleties originate from YouTube's maker outreach team in response to a video from commentator Philip DeFranco published yesterday evening.

A YouTube spokesperson told CNN it took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels and reported illegal activity to law enforcement.

AT&T says it has removed ads until YouTube can "protect our brand from offensive content of any kind".

A number of leading American companies have chosen boycott YouTube by cutting advertising ties, after evidence shows that the video streaming site is being used as a medium to facilitate the activities of a paedophilia ring.

Over the past 48 hours, YouTube claims to have removed thousands of inappropriate comments from the videos and terminated over 400 channels who posted the comments.

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Ads for the company's smash-hit battle royale title Fortnite, as well as ads from other major companies, including Google itself, play ahead of videos featuring children on YouTube.

This latest episode is a reminder that YouTube continues to struggle to police its own platform against the rules and policies it outlines in its terms of service.

All Nestle companies have pulled their ads from YouTube, CNN reports.

YouTube has stressed that it has reported the abusive comments to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Simply speaking, the allegation is that YouTube's recommendation engine will point users via a wormhole full of videos of minors in compromising positions. And what we're talking about here is not the videos they create, but disturbing comments they leave under otherwise normal videos of children, and there are sometimes ads on these videos.

Several users who watched Watson's documentary about the sickening content thriving in YouTube complained to Google by using #YouTubeWakeUp on social media platforms. However, Watson's video found multiple videos where ads or inappropriate comments appeared. It added that it expects YouTube to "immediately remove from its site any contributions that threaten the integrity and protection of minors".

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