YouTube suspends comments on videos of kids

YouTube turns off comments on videos of children amid child safety fears

YouTube turns off comments on videos of children amid child safety fears

Former YouTuber Matt Watson angrily exposed an organized group of child predators in a video he said would be the last on the platform.

"Over the next few months, we will be broadening this action to suspend comments on videos featuring young minors and videos featuring older minors that could be at risk of attracting predatory behavior", the post read.

"Paedophiles are trading social media contacts; they're trading links to actual child porn in YouTube comments; they're trading unlisted videos in secret, and YouTube's algorithm through some glitch in its programming is facilitating their ability to do this", Watson said at the time.

YouTube has announced it's disabling nearly all comments on videos of children. It then began disabling comments on videos of regular users that had been exposed to the predatory behavior.

Along with disabling comments on videos featuring minors, YouTube also announced that it sped up the launch of a "more effective" classifier which can identify and remove double the amount of individual predatory comments than before. We will update if it provides a statement.

The discovery prompted an advertiser boycott of the platform, as companies including Fortnite-maker Epic Games and Nestlé pulled their ads from the site. "These efforts are focused on videos featuring young minors and we will continue to identify videos at risk over the next few months", YouTube declared. In many cases, apparent paedophiles took advantage of YouTube's comments system, where they would post time stamps so that others could skip ahead to moments when kids are in compromising positions.

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But YouTube doesn't have many other options in this scenario.

A 3D-printed YouTube icon is seen in front of a displayed YouTube logo in this illustration taken October 25, 2017.

YouTube unveils their new paid subscription service at the YouTube Space LA in Playa Del Rey, Los Angeles, California, United States, October 21, 2015. That's good in some ways, because some YouTube channels are created exclusively for creating and sharing predatory videos.

Notably, there's no word on whether certain creators will be able to petition to get their comments sections re-enabled. "We understand that comments are an important way creators build and connect with their audiences, we also know that this is the right thing to do to protect the YouTube community".

On Thursday, YouTube said it had accelerated its work on new software that could spot and remove predatory comments more effectively, adding it had terminated additional channels that put children at risk. "The owners of these channels will be notified of these actions".

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