Published: Thu, February 21, 2019
IT | By Lester Massey

Disney pulls YouTube ads in wake of inappropriate child videos on platform


After watching a few such videos on a new YouTube account, Watson described how the site's algorithm - created to provide users with content they might like, to keep them watching - would serve up endless videos of apparently underage children where the comments section contained inappropriate comments. McDonald's also has pulled YouTube ad spending, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Time codes of crotch shots, soliciting exchanges of phone numbers, and promises to swap videos on other platforms (Snapchat, Whatsapp, Kik) are all being reported by YouTube users.

"All Nestle companies in the USA have paused advertising on YouTube, a spokeswoman for the company said Wednesday in an email", Bloomberg reports.

In a sign of the complicated media ecosystem that now exists on YouTube, where individual video creators can earn a share of the site's advertising revenue, the reaction to the story from the wider YouTube community has not been entirely positive.

Epic Games joined several other YouTube advertisement partners in pulling and pausing their pre-roll advertisements on Google's video service.

"We took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting illegal activity to authorities and disabling violative comments", a spokeswoman for YouTube said in an email. "There's more to be done, and we continue to work on improve and catch abuse more quickly". Bloomberg cited sources who claimed Disney has followed suit, though the company did not immediately return a request for comment.


A number of leading brands have reportedly withdrawn digital advertising accounts with YouTube amid mounting concern that the video sharing platform has been co-opted by paedophiles to build surreptitious networks. She said YouTube had also terminated over 400 YouTube channels for comments that they left on videos and reported illegal comments to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The vlogger said the firm made it easy to find videos of young girls, even though comments clearly showed that viewers were sexualising the videos.

There have been earlier reports of pedophiles cruising YouTube for videos of minors and leaving lewd or sexual comments. They have also removed dozens of videos which put young people at risk.

For example, those videos featured comments from child predators that share time stamps meant to sexualize a child featured in a video that, taken at face value, isn't deemed inappropriate content on its own. In response, YouTube said in 2017 that it would do more to "protect families" on its platform, pledging to remove videos that endanger children and block inappropriate comments on content featuring minors.

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