Disney, McDonald’s pull out of YouTube ads over ‘paedophilia ring’ concerns

Muriel Colon
February 26, 2019

A YouTube spokesperson said that the platform has taken more continuous, aggressive steps to fight this type of content on its platform including hiring social workers, child development specialists, former prosecutors, and former Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency employees.

YouTube has run into this kind of problem in the past.

YouTube also says that it may ask creators to moderate their comments more rigorously.

According to Watson, YouTube's algorithms typically recommends similar videos to anyone who clicks on them.

YouTube has come under fire for allowing videos which exploit young children to thrive on the platform and also for the enormous number of predatory comments that are floating on these videos. YouTube acted quick and enacted a massive change to its monetization platform, limiting both the creative expression and amount of money video makers could earn off their work.

Disney and Nestle have also suspended advertising on YouTube over exploitation and pedophile networking.

Still, because of the powerful advertising reach of YouTube's parent Google, brands are unlikely to stay away from YouTube for long, he said. "We took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting illegal activity to authorities and disabling violative comments".

"Any content-including comments-that endangers minors is abhorrent and we have clear policies prohibiting this on YouTube", a spokesperson for YouTube told Gizmodo in a statement on Wednesday.

"All Nestle companies in the U.S. have paused advertising on YouTube, a spokeswoman for the company said Wednesday in an email", Bloomberg reported yesterday.

However, Reddit user u/dak4ttack pointed out that even though Watson reported the people who were using the comment sections of the videos to link to illegal material involving children, YouTube only took the links down.

According to Watson, videos in the "pedophile ring" had run ads from brands including McDonald's, Lysol, Disney, Hershey Co.'s Reese's, Purina, Grammarly, Ikea and GNC.

The move comes just one month after the USA wireless carrier announced it would resume buying advertising on YouTube, after a almost two-year boycott of the platform. One aspect of its approach was blocking inappropriate comments on videos featuring minors.

Late last week, Redditor Matt Watson highlighted how YouTube's recommendation algorithm redirected to inappropriate videos, featuring women and in some instances, exploitative clips of children. AT&T, which just recently started advertising on YouTube again after a two-year boycott, has pulled its ads as well.

Other YouTubers and community members were fast to respond to the move, calling it "unfair" and "aggravating".

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