YouTube Bans Comments On Videos Deemed Vulnerable To Pedophiles Amid Ad Pullback

YouTube Bans Comments On Videos Deemed Vulnerable To Pedophiles Amid Ad Pullback

YouTube Bans Comments On Videos Deemed Vulnerable To Pedophiles Amid Ad Pullback

In a tweet, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki linked to the update and explained the change: "Recently, there have been some deeply concerning incidents regarding child safety on YouTube".

In a blog post, YouTube said its new policy meant videos of very young children would automatically have the comments section disabled.

As documented in his February 17 video, members of what Watson called a "soft-core pedophilia ring" made sexualised comments about the girls tagged with time-stamps identifying moments when the kids were in certain poses. The company removed numerous videos last week and said it had deleted tens of millions of comments.

YouTube says it will switch off comments on nearly all videos featuring under-18s, in an attempt to "better protect children and families".

Former YouTuber Matt Watson angrily exposed an organized group of child predators in a video he said would be the last on the platform.

The hunt for videos featuring minors that could act as a honeypot for predatory behavior will also continue over the next few months according to YouTube, with an expanded scope covering content with older minors that could also be targeted.

"It basically destroys the community", said Jacob Strickling, who makes online videos about science that run on YouTube.


The Herald reported this week Kiwi telco Spark was also understood to have pulled all its advertising activity from YouTube in response to evidence of unsavoury content targeted at children.

YouTube's move comes after Irish authorities look likely to scale back their warnings about the so-called "Momo" meme that was alleged to be scaring children.

The Google-owned video sharing service announced further steps to crack down on inappropriate comments a week after an investigation showing how comments and connections on child porn were being displayed alongside innocuous videos. But first-time vlogging parents will likely be unable to use the comments section to grow a following. "But that begs the question as to why YouTube, if it is detecting exploitative behavior on a particular video, isn't having the video manually reviewed by a human and deleting the video outright".

"These efforts are focused on videos featuring young minors and we will continue to identify videos at risk over the next few months".

In the past YouTube Kids has been criticised for using algorithms to gather content, which has led to some inappropriate videos being found on the site.

What else is YouTube doing to protect children?

Some creators are concerned that being forced to disable comments on their videos will affect the growth of their channels. Experts in these technologies say they work well with some readily identifiable images, such as those of nude people or known terrorist symbols.

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