YouTube to disable comments on virtually all videos with young children

YouTube to disable comments on virtually all videos with young children

YouTube to disable comments on virtually all videos with young children

YouTube said Thursday that it will block users from commenting on most videos that feature minors, responding to reports that pedophiles had used comments to find, track and exploit children. In an address to content creators, it said it would continue suspending comments on "at risk" videos containing "young minors", but it would also be expanding the effort to include videos featuring older children as well.

But it will now disable comments on nearly all videos of children and young people.

While some select creators will still be able to retain comments on their videos, they will have to monitor their comments rigorously for nefarious comments, and "demonstrate a low risk of predatory behavior". "We understand that comments are an important way creators build and connect with their audiences, [but] we also know that this is the right thing to do to protect the YouTube community", the spokesperson added.

In addition to disabling comments on videos with kids, YouTube said it is developing an "even more effective classifier" created to better identify and remove child-predator comments. YouTube's algorithm would then recommend users who viewed those videos more footage featuring children.

Rather than making flagrantly sexual statements, commenters have posted time stamps directing others to moments in videos that can appear compromising when paused, like a girl's backside or bare legs.

Some of these predatory videos had ads running over them, and those companies were not happy with YouTube once they found out about this controversy.

Some creators are concerned that being forced to disable comments on their videos will affect the growth of their channels.


If content violates YouTube's policy, it will be removed and an email will be sent to the creator.

The news of the child-predator comments led marketers including Disney, AT&T, Epic Games, Hasbro, McDonald's and Nestlé to suspend their advertising on YouTube.

"My research has led me into a horrifying world where people create cartoons glorifying unsafe topics and scenarios such self-harm, suicide, sexual exploitation, trafficking, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and gun violence which includes a simulated school shooting", wrote blogger Dr. That scene, edited into a children's cartoon, ended up not only being seen by children but even made it past the automated filters on to YouTube's own YouTube Kids channel.

Most importantly, she says, parents need to team up with each other to combat this problem.

Comments posted on the videos included messages such as, "You're pretty and your girlfriends are nice too".

He also instructed the Department of Internal Affairs to investigate the issue and "get a better understanding of YouTube's response to the issue".

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