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Security & privacy

YouTube scrambling to get rid of child predators

How many times have you found yourself plummeting down the rabbit hole on YouTube? It’s easy to do.

You begin by checking out your favorite band’s latest song and before you know it, you’re watching a DIY video on peeling an apple with a power drill. I get it. That’s why millions of people visit YouTube every day, there’s just so much content.

But it has found itself in hot water lately. Child predators have been misusing the site, and YouTube is scrambling to try and get rid of them.

Is YouTube safe for children?

It all started a few days ago when a YouTuber posted a video showing how searching for certain terms on the site can lead to content featuring children. And get this, pedophiles have been posting all kinds of predatory comments.

Of course, there’s no pornographic content on the site. But predators have been time-stamping certain parts of seemingly innocent videos of kids and sharing them in the comments section.

It gets worse.

The video blogger pointed out that these commenters would also flag videos of kids, and then YouTube’s own algorithms would suggest similar content. Yikes!

It’s gained lots of attention and raised concerns among quite a few people. It’s also led to some sponsors jumping ship. Disney, Nestle and Epic Games, the creator of the popular game Fortnite, have all decided to pull their pre-roll ads in response.

Now, in just the last few days, YouTube has terminated over 400 channels for the comments they left on videos. Plus it’s disabled comments on tens of millions of videos. It’s also reporting illegal activity to law enforcement.

YouTube said it’s working on the problem and continuing to grow its team in order to keep people safe.

Does any of this sound familiar? It should. YouTube dealt with the same type of issue a couple years ago. There was a similar outcry in 2017 that caused advertisers to temporarily pull their ads, too.

Back then, YouTube posted on its official blog ways it trying to protect families. Click here to read the 5 ways YouTube is toughening its approach.

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