YouTube cracks down on disturbing content featuring children after backlash

Image You Tube Kids

Image You Tube Kids

Video-sharing website YouTube steps up its stance against child exploitation as reports surface that pedophiles are able to work around its protective mechanisms.

Koerber's story was followed by a wave of press attention, including a New York Times feature and a BuzzFeed investigation published Wednesday that uncovered dozens of videos featuring child actors in uncomfortable and even abusive situations.

Comments from hundreds of pedophiles were posted alongside the videos, which appeared to have been uploaded by the children themselves, according to a Times investigation.

Johanna Wright, YouTube's VP for product management, made the announcement, on the back of a growing trend around content on YouTube that attempts to pass as family-friendly, but is clearly not.

YouTube will also remove ads from inappropriate videos targeting families.

Some of the world's most recognizable companies have pulled their adverts from YouTube after their campaigns appeared alongside videos featuring children and sexualised comments.

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It comes after it was revealed children are being "exploited" by parents who film them in discomfort and pain.

The presence of those infringing videos, which are aimed at kids, created to excel in YouTube's recommendation algorithm, and populated with popular family characters like Elsa and Spiderman, has triggered a controversy called ElsaGate. A child watching a series of videos of Peppa Pig might stumble upon a channel that shows the character drinking bleach. "We're wholly committed to addressing these issues and will continue to invest the engineering and human resources needed to get it right". "We have an iPad for our kids and they don't have access to the Internet on it, no YouTube app, only the apps I put on it".

"Until we have confidence that appropriate safeguards are in place, we will not advertise on YouTube and Google".

Despite that, it hasn't been enough to convince advertisers and concerned watchers. Those ads are removed immediately and the publishers blacklisted, it said.

A Lidl UK spokeswoman said it was "completely unacceptable that this content is available to view, and it is, therefore, clear that the strict policies which Google has assured us were in place to tackle offensive content are ineffective". Which means protecting your children is increasingly hard. With its public image and bottom line under fire, the firm no longer has the luxury of painlessly presenting itself as a faux neutral party in this debate.

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