YouTube is cracking down on videos targeted by child predators. According to Vice News, YouTube has removed over 270 accounts and 150,000 videos from its platforms. In addition, YouTube has switched off commenting on 625,000 videos. Many big names such as Adidas, Cadbury, and Duetsche Bank have frozen their ad accounts with the platforms when they found out that their ads were being displayed with abusive content.
For quite a while now, YouTube has run into issues with child-exploitation material being uploaded that depict children in abusive situations and are a scheme to gain millions of views. “Over the past week we removed ads from nearly 2 million videos and over 50,000 channels masquerading as family-friendly content,” YouTube said in a statement to Vice. “Content that endangers children is abhorrent and unacceptable to us.”
This action comes after YouTube was found to be autofilling search results with pedophiliac terms, something that is quite alarming. For example, when users searched the term “how to,” the autocomplete system would suggest “have s*x kids” and “have s*x with your kids.” First reported by BuzzFeed, they found these suggestions, but have since been removed by YouTube. The Jolt Journal even tested in several browsers and have been removed.
This is an awful autocomplete result and we really appreciate you making us aware. We've removed it and will continue to investigate what caused this!
— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) November 27, 2017
YouTube has stated that this matter is under investigation. “Earlier today our teams were alerted to this awful autocomplete result and we worked to quickly remove it,” YouTube told BuzzFeed News on Sunday. “We are investigating this matter to determine what was behind the appearance of this autocompletion.”
Google has previously explained that predictions are based on popularity of search. The algorithm filters out hurtful, offensive, and inappropriate queries by users. YouTube is fulfilling their promise of blocking predatory comment sections on videos of minors and cracking down on videos that target children.