YouTube advertisers quit over predatory child videos

Terry Joseph
November 25, 2017

Others include the phone numbers of adults or requests for videos to fulfil sexual fetishes.

The Times investigation alleged that YouTube does not do enough to pro-actively check for inappropriate images of children and instead relies on software algorithms, external non-government groups and police forces to flag such content.

"In the last couple of weeks we expanded our enforcement guidelines around removing content featuring minors that may be endangering a child, even if that was not the uploader's intent", the post read.

The Google-owned company will apply machine learning technology and automated tools in order to discover potentially exploitive content. YouTube has terminated 50 channels and removed thousands of videos as also advertisements from 5,00,000 exploitive videos under the current set of guidelines.

Though YouTube created their Kids app to provide children a safe outlet to watch engaging, entertaining videos, multiple reports uncovered that the platform was inundated with explicit content.

Video hosting giant YouTube has begun clamping down on content showing children in vulnerable situations as well as disturbing material aimed at children. Some videos are posted by paedophiles and many innocently posted by youngsters.

"These latest enforcement changes will take shape over the weeks and months ahead as we work to tackle this evolving challenge", YouTube's Johanna Wright explained in said blog post this past Wednesday.

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If the user is signed in while reporting a video, it will also be blocked from the YouTube Kids app, the company said in a statement.

"We're wholly committed to addressing these issues and will continue to invest the engineering and human resources needed to get it right", Wright concluded.

Despite that, it hasn't been enough to convince advertisers and concerned watchers.

Companies like Mars, Lidl and Adidas said they were shocked and appalled that the adverts were displayed alongside exploitative and inappropriate content. YouTube have admitted they need to do more.

YouTube has become one of Google's fastest-growing operations in terms of sales by simplifying the process of distributing video online but putting in place few limits on content. Those videos have since been removed. "Until we have confidence that appropriate safeguards are in place, we will not advertise on YouTube and Google".

Google - as one of the primary portals of internet access often finds itself at the centre of these debates around freedom of expression with relation to the protection of children and more vulnerable people.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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