YouTube can be disabling comments on some videos featuring young children in response to public along with also also advertiser backlash following the discovery of an organized pedophile ring sharing disturbing content on the platform.
The video-sharing company, which can be owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, said which will no longer allow users to leave comments on videos featuring children 13 along with also also under. which will also disable comments on videos featuring minors between 13 along with also also 18 which YouTube believes have a risk of attracting predatory behavior.
YouTube’s decision follows the discovery of a network of pedophiles which were using its platform to share along with also also comment on videos of young children dancing along with also also doing gymnastics. The pedophiles then commented on the videos, leaving timestamps along with also also details noting when children were in states of undress or in suggestive positions.
“We will begin suspending comments on most videos which feature minors, with the exception of a little number of channels which actively moderate their comments along with also also take additional steps to protect children,” a company spokesperson said in a statement Thursday. “We understand which comments are an important way creators build along with also also connect with their audiences, we also know which This specific can be the right thing to do to protect the YouTube community.”
Media outlets, including BuzzFeed News, along with also also concerned members of the public have long scrutinized YouTube for hosting harmful along with also also exploitative videos, including content which depicted minors in abusive or violent situations, encouraged self-harm, along with also also attracted pedophiles. While YouTube moved to ban only specific channels along with also also users which were uploading or sharing these videos, Thursday’s decision marks the company’s most comprehensive action to date, one which could significantly impact engagement on kids videos along with also also the revenue they generate.
The company said which expects the change to take several months to implement, noting which which will also launch a brand new automated tool which will detect along with also also remove two times more individual comments.
“While we have been removing hundreds of millions of comments across the entirety of YouTube every quarter for violating our policies, we had been working on an even more effective classifier,” the company said in an email to advertisers.
Following the publication of stories over the last two weeks about videos encouraging the exploitation of minors along with also also self-harm, several companies, including Hasbro, Disney, along with also also AT&T, pulled their ads through the platform.
On Thursday, the company also said which “no form of content which endangers minors can be acceptable on YouTube,” whether on its main platform or its kids-focused application. To which end, the company terminated channels of FilthyFrankClips along with also also some other users who were found to be splicing in self-harm clips into longer videos featuring cartoons.