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YouTube is like a college for criminals

YouTube is like a college for criminals
photo courtesy of SHUTTERSTOCK

We all know that the Internet can be a dangerous place.

Before the feds took action, drugs and hit men were available for hire/purchase on Silk Road, guns have been sold on Instagram, and you can even buy fake pregnancy tests on Craigslist. That's just the tip of the iceberg.

It's appalling to say the least, and you can add another popular social media site to that growing list of hotbeds for illegal activity.

That's right, stolen credit cards, drugs and prostitutes are all available on YouTube - and even worse, YouTube is profiting off of these videos, because a majority of them come with ads - a profit that Google takes a cut of.

It's a problem that was pointed out last year by the Digital Citizens Alliance, and YouTube removed the noted videos, but the problem persists.

Go ahead and try it for yourself. I typed in "How to hack an ATM card." There were more than 24,000 results. Now, not all of them had malicious intent, but there were a handful and that's just on the first page. Imagine what else could lie deep down in the search results.

Even more troubling is the suggested videos. In that side rail, I saw other results for "How to Hack a real Bank Account."

Other searches are just as disturbing. "Fake passports for sale" yielded nearly 3,000 results, while "How to Hack a real Bank Account" (the side rail led me there) came up with more than 200,000 results.

So what is YouTube doing about it? A YouTube spokesman told Gizmodo:

"Our Guidelines prohibit any content encouraging illegal activities, including videos promoting the sale of illegal goods. YouTube's review teams respond to videos flagged for our attention around the clock, removing millions of videos each year that violate our policies. We also have stringent advertising guidelines, and work to prevent ads appearing against any video, channel or page once we determine that the content is not appropriate for our advertising partners."

Don't rely on YouTube to remove catch and remove every single video like this. You can use a program like OpenDNS Family Shield to protect your family from finding filth like this.

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Source: Gizmodo
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