YouTube Pulls Exploitative Child Videos as Advertisers Flee

From PC Mag: YouTube is doing damage control as advertisers flee the platform over revelations that their ads have appeared alongside pedophilic and exploitative child content.

"In the past week, we've tightened up and strengthened the enforcement of our policies to terminate the accounts of users making inappropriate comments on videos featuring minors," the Google-owned video-sharing said in a statement to PCMag.

YouTube confirmed it has shut down "hundreds" of accounts and removed more than 150,000 disturbing videos of children in recent days, as was first reported by VICE News. The company is also working to fix an issue with its autocomplete feature that returned "s*x with kids" on a search for "how to have," as was reported by Engadget.

YouTube said it has disabled the comments on more than 625,000 videos, which had been "targeted by child predators." The company has also "removed ads from nearly 2 million videos and over 50,000 channels masquerading as family-friendly content."

Those actions come after British newspaper The Times last week reported that ads from big-name brands like Adidas, eBay, Amazon, and candy maker Mars were appearing on YouTube videos "showing scantily clad children," including "young girls filming themselves in underwear, doing the splits, brushing their teeth or rolling around in bed." Most of the videos were likely posted innocently by kids, but had reportedly "attracted comments from hundreds of pedophiles," prompting several companies — including Mars and Adidas — to pull their ads from YouTube.

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