YouTube 'toughening its approach' on shady kid videos, thousands of videos removed

School kids in class using a digital tablet

YouTube 'toughening its approach' on shady kid videos, thousands of videos removed

Parenting

YouTube 'toughening its approach' on shady kid videos, thousands of videos removed

YouTube announced on its official blog last Wednesday that it has deleted 50 channels, thousands of videos and removed ads on more than 3 million videos since June 2017, in an effort to crack down on content that “attempts to pass as family-friendly, but is clearly not.”

What is my kid watching on YouTube?

Reports have surfaced that many parents are finding their children viewing inappropriate and uncomfortable videos on the YouTube Kids app, which is supposed to filter out any non age-appropriate content but has thus far, failed to do so.

Depressed child sitting outside of the house. Fine noise applied.

Credit: Getty Images

Last week All the Moms reported that YouTube removed one of the top 100-most viewed channels “Toy Freaks,” where father Greg Chism posted videos of his two tween daughters feeding and burping up on each other like babies, screaming in bathtubs at the presence of frogs and lobsters and other additional disturbing content.

Additional news outlets like The Guardian, Buzzfeed and Today have also reported on the dispersal of strange, eerie content targeted toward children.

Loss of advertising causes action

According to the U.K’s The Times, big candy and alcohol companies like Mars, Mondelez and Diageo have pulled their YouTube advertisements after discovering they were appearing next to videos like those from the Toy Freaks channel.

M&Ms by Mars

Mars, the company behind M&M’s and Snickers, pulled its YouTube ads after learning of the content receiving condemnation. Credit: Mars company

This comes less than a year after giant companies like Verizon, AT&T, Walmart and more pulled their ads after they appeared next to or in videos that featured extremist rhetoric, propaganda and more, USA Today reported.

It also comes after a father and step-mom under the channel “DaddyOFive” lost custody of two of their children after posting “prank” videos that encouraged the five siblings to beat each other up and frequently left one child, Cody, in tears, USA Today reported last May.

Since then, the family has begun a new channel called “FamilyOFive,” without Cody and Emma, who as of last reports, now reside with their biological mother.

YouTube’s Vice President of Product Management Johanna Wright said the company is combating these problems in five ways.

The 5 ways YouTube says its ending inappropriate child videos, content

Credit: Getty Images

  1. “Tougher application of our Community Guidelines and faster enforcement through technology.”
    • Stricter guidelines
    • Removing videos that break the rules, regardless of intention
    • Enforcing age-restrictions for videos with mature themes
    • Partnering with authorities like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
    • “Applying machine learning technology and automated tools to quickly find and escalate for human review”
  2. “Removing ads from inappropriate videos targeting families.”
    • Removed 3 million ads from videos breaking the rules
    • “Strengthened” the application to prevent 500,000 more “violative” videos from ad revenue
  3. “Blocking inappropriate comments on videos featuring minors.”
    • Sexually predatory comments will be reported to law enforcement
    • If such comments are made on videos featuring children, YouTube will turn off its commenting function as a whole
  4. “Providing guidance for creators who make family-friendly content.”
    • YouTube is supposed to release a “comprehensive guide” for creating family-friendly content in the next few weeks.
  5. “Engaging and learning from experts.”
    • “To help us better understand how to treat this content, we will be growing the number of experts we work with, and doubling the number of Trusted Flaggers we partner with in this area.”

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