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Big advertisers suspend YouTube campaigns after reports of videos sexualizing children

Big advertisers suspend YouTube campaigns after reports of videos sexualizing children

YouTube (GOOG, GOOGL) deleted 150K videos featuring children that had inappropriate sexual comments, according to Variety.

Though children themselves uploaded most of these videos, hundreds of paedophiles use the comments section to make lewd suggestions and share links to child abuse.

Marketers that have frozen spending on YouTube over the issue include Adidas, Deutsche Bank, HP, Mars, Diageo and Cadbury. Those include better enforcement of policies, blocking comments on videos featuring minors, and removing ads from videos with kid-inappropriate content. They have suggested that Google does more to ensure that they banish and restrict access to inappropriate videos.

In the past week, YouTube said, it has terminated more than 50 channels and have removed thousands of videos under these kid-safe guidelines.

YouTube admitted it needed to do more, stating: "Content that endangers children is abhorrent and unacceptable to us".




Problems with the video-sharing site's reporting system have been blamed for letting the accounts persist.

"In recent months, we've noticed a growing trend around content on YouTube that attempts to pass as family-friendly, but is clearly not", Johanna Wright, vice president of product management at YouTube, said in a statement Wednesday. The actions of YouTube were being supported as there are several blog posts and forums showing their support to the video platform, some commenting that the vetting must be extended to other areas too. First reported by BuzzFeed, they found these suggestions, but have since been removed by YouTube.

About this latest concern, a YouTube spokesperson said: "Earlier today our teams were alerted to this very bad autocomplete result and we worked to quickly remove it".

The YouTube Go Beta version was available in the Google Play Store from April this year. "As always, our digital marketing agency applied filters to prevent our advertising appearing alongside inappropriate content and we are investigating how the situation arose", a spokesperson said in an email to CNBC. Tom "TomSka" Ridgewell spoke about the issue in his Last Week series, saying "Obviously, it's good that child predators and all this really seedy shit on YouTube is getting demonetised". "We have taken the decision to immediately suspend all our online advertising on YouTube and Google globally".


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