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YouTube disables comments on videos featuring kids

By Cal Jeffrey · 9 replies
Feb 28, 2019
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  1. YouTube announced on Thursday that it would be disabling comments on videos featuring children. The move comes after a “soft-core pedophilia ring” was exposed last week.

    Former YouTuber Matt Watson angrily exposed an organized group of child predators in a video he said would be the last on the platform. The video quickly went viral earning more than 3 million views in less than a week. In a reaction, companies like Epic Games, Peloton, Disney, and others began pulling ads. YouTube responded to the backlash by deleting the offending comments as well as the associated accounts.

    However, it soon became clear that the problem was more significant than anyone even suspected. In less than two days, YouTube had deleted over 400 channels owned by alleged predators and “tens of millions” of their comments. It then began disabling comments on videos of regular users that had been exposed to the predatory behavior.

    "These efforts are focused on videos featuring young minors and we will continue to identify videos at risk over the next few months."

    Today, YouTube outlined its plan for future action. 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.

    “Over the past week, we disabled comments from tens of millions of videos that could be subject to predatory behavior. These efforts are focused on videos featuring young minors and we will continue to identify videos at risk over the next few months. 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.”

    YouTube acknowledged that this might affect the way some channels connect with their audience, but its intention and priority is to keep young people safe. The platform will allow a small number of creators that have this type of content to keep their comments on, but they will be required to “actively moderate” the channel and show that their videos are at low risk of attracting such comments.

    "This classifier will detect and remove 2X more individual comments [and] does not affect the monetization of your video."

    YouTube also said that it had accelerated the rollout of an AI algorithm that will be used to classify and delete offending comments. It claims the new classifier will be able to detect and remove twice as many comments as the algorithm currently used.

    It is good to see YouTube finally taking action on this matter. The Times of London exposed this problem clear back in 2017. One would think that the current ad boycott had something to do with YouTube's decisive action, but several companies including Adidas, Deutsche Bank, eBay, Amazon, and others pulled advertising in 2017 with little effect. So attributing the turnaround to lost ad revenue is not so cut and dry.

    We reached out to parent company Google for comment, but have not heard back. We will update if it provides a statement.

    Permalink to story.

  2. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,375   +1,008

    I am a Youtube partner with almost 55,000 subscribers.

    As far as I know, from what I've seen, just about every Youtubber in some way or another has violated the TOS.

    Depending on what they wanna go after, anyone could have their channel demonetized or erased.

    Take for example the women who breastfeed - acting as if they are doing it just for education - but knowing they are getting MALE VIEWERS mostly.

    Tajhma makes a lot of cash doing this.

    David Bond's channel shows him exploiting Asian women and there's no written consent on file for him to show their images.

    Or how about those people posting travel videos (red light districts) just showing off women and getting hundreds of thousands of views - regardless their age - regardless whether those streetwalkers were trafficked or not.

    Youtube is dying. Soon, all we'll have left is pornhub.

    Family Cruisin's channel was eliminated (and he was arrested) for a count of "child endangerment" wherin he just showed himself with a kid in the car doing buronouts in a Hellcat.

    That's ridiculous.

    Technically, you could get a "child endangerment" strike for tossing a kid up and down in the air - even playfully - when they are giggling.

    My point is: HIDING BEHIND ALLEGATIONS of "child predators", "sex trafficking" or other ridiculous claims makes it possible to level overcharges against just about anyone.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
    psycros likes this.
  3. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 2,003   +1,537

    There's so much **** surrounding YouTube it's hard to keep track.
  4. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,661   +321

    Too bad. I liked commenting on Tim's Hardware Unboxed videos.
    Capaill and noel24 like this.
  5. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,786   +2,608

    That's the idea. Welcome to the Great Leftist Internet Takeover. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the pedo comments came from Soros operatives..they've been caught faking enough comments from "right-wing militias" and other scapegoats.
  6. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 4,094   +3,647

    Ironically there was an internet bill of rights law in the senate that was blocked by republicans. Google is only leftist when it suites them. Ultimately they stand for cold hard cash and nothing else. They lost their "do no evil" mantra a long time ago.
  7. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,375   +1,008

    Instead of them calling it "net neutrality" they should call it EQUAL ACCESS TO THE INTERNET.

    Otherwise they confuse the poorly educated.

    Net neutrality can swing against far left just as much as it can swing against far right or full blown racists.

    Net Neutrality is the ultimate blow against free speech on the internet.
  8. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 918   +506

    Kids are being abused, what should we do? Nothing.
    Ads are being pulled, what should we do? Take aggressive action.
    (Yes, I know the same happened in 2017 but maybe it hit their bank accounts hard last time and they don't want a repeat)
  9. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,375   +1,008

    The reality is kids have always been abused.

    Ironically, the internet actually allows you to TRACK and INTERCEPT the abusers.

    Example: I know a 17 year old male who had a 26 year old female English teacher who had an inappropriate sexual relationship with him. She was never caught and he damn sure wasn't going to tell anyone beyond his closest friends.

    Now - had this happened in the present rather than 1997, there would have been texts, phone records, video footage - and an unbeatable prosecution built against her.

    But shutting down the digital avenue makes these predators go underground even more and makes interdiction even harder.
  10. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 918   +506

    Yes, I actually like that YT is taking these actions. I'm just disappointed it's reactive rather than proactive.

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