Plagued By Predators, YouTube Is Disabling Comments On Most Videos Featuring Children

Plagued By Predators, YouTube Is Disabling Comments On Most Videos Featuring Children

YouTube said it will turn off comments on almost all videos featuring kids - potentially affecting millions of posts on the site - after reports last week that paedophiles were leaving inappropriate comments on innocuous videos of children.

YouTube says it will ban comments on videos featuring young minors, including cases where the videos are deemed to be "at risk" of attracting pedophiles' attention.

YouTube announced on Thursday that it would be disabling comments on videos featuring children. "These efforts are focused on videos featuring young minors and we will continue to identify videos at risk over the next few months". It said that in future it would disable comments on all videos of "young minors".

The controversy began earlier this month when YouTuber Matt Watson shared a video that exposed the use of YouTube comments by what he called a "soft-core pedophilia ring".

YouTube also just launched a new comments classifier, which will detect and remove even more predatory comments than before. Users who viewed videos of minors also would be served up additional videos featuring children through YouTube's recommendation engine.

The company said it has also released an updated version of its automated moderating system that it expects will identify and delete two times as many inappropriate comments.

Dylan Collins, CEO and co-founder of SuperAwesome, a London-based company that builds products that help other companies create kid-friendly online experiences, said the new policy is a positive step forward for YouTube.


If content violates YouTube's policy, it will be removed and an email will be sent to the creator.

It led to several companies suspending adverts on YouTube, including Disney and Fortnite developer Epic Games.

YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki said: "Nothing is more important to us than ensuring the safety of young people on the platform".

The matter was made worse by the fact they appeared on YouTube Kids, a special, extra-censored version of YouTube that is meant to be safe for under 13's.

"My research has led me into a horrifying world where people create cartoons glorifying unsafe topics and scenarios such self-harm, suicide, sexual exploitation, trafficking, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and gun violence which includes a simulated school shooting", wrote blogger Dr.

The comment section crack down has already ensnared the videos of YouTube creator, Matthew Tye, who posts about his life in China.

YouTube's parent company, Google, is a global leader in artificial intelligence and machine learning, but YouTube has had limited success in using these technologies to keep troubling content off of its platform. "I don't think you have to watch every one of those videos, and [YouTube is] taking those steps, but there's no replacement for a parent's guidance".

Related Articles