YouTube Disables Comments On Videos Featuring Minors, Following Advertiser Backlash 03/01/2019

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In response, YouTube chose to combat both predatory video creators and commenters by temporarily disabling comments on tens of millions of videos featuring minors and deleting hundreds of channels.

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.

"Over the past week, we disabled comments from tens of millions of videos that could be subject to predatory behavior".

It follows a decision by the site to disable comments on "tens of millions" of videos they believed could be putting children at risk.

While the word "all" isn't used to describe the to-be-comment-free videos, YouTube explains that only a "small number" of creators will be able to keep their comment sections enabled on videos that include kids.

The platform says that it has also developed a more effective comment classifier created to pinpoint the comments that violate YouTube's policies besides "removing hundreds of millions of comments for violating our policies", a classifier which is already working behind the stage identifying and removing predatory comments from videos. For one, how can YouTube automatically identify whether a video features a child? The same comment sections could also feature time stamps of when the minor in the video exposed their bare legs or backs.

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Watson's video touched off a number of reactions - from anger and disgust at predators, to questions about how the company should stop the misuse of its service. "Nothing is more important to us than ensuring the safety of young people on the platform".

To crack down on the problem, YouTube said on Thursday that it added a new computer algorithm that can better "identify and remove predatory comments" on the platform.

Comments posted on the videos included messages such as, "You're pretty and your girlfriends are nice too".

Companies including Nestle and Fortnite maker Epic Games suspended advertising on the video site in the wake of the claims pending investigations. "But that's not to say that there isn't risk out there, that there aren't videos that are glorifying suicide and that are targeted to kids", Lapowsky said.

That has led some creators to label the incident "Adpocalypse 2" - and they vented their anger at both YouTube for its approach and Watson for the way in which he raised the issue. However, with the sheer amount of video content uploaded to YouTube every day, disabling comments as the default on every clip featuring a minor seems like a daunting task.

Hess, a pediatrician, put out a call to action to different groups to report the video to get it removed from the site. A coalition of consumer and privacy groups filed a complaint previous year with the Federal Trade Commission alleging that YouTube also is violating the nation's child privacy law by collecting data on children younger than 13.

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