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YouTube addresses fears that it’s restricting ads based on comments

The videos that are going to see these effects are the ones that might attract predatory comments.


Elizabeth VanMetre


Posted on Feb 24, 2019   Updated on May 20, 2021, 6:27 pm CDT

YouTube users are worried that they will now have to closely monitor their comments sections or they could see ad restrictions. But after a set of tweets on Thursday alarmed creators, the company says this is just a short term fix for a very particular set of videos.

The concerns began after it was brought to light that child predators were using YouTube as a way to exploit kids.

In a tweet replying to a mom who now has limited advertising on her son’s gymnastics videos, YouTube said they’ve “taken a number of actions to better protect the YouTube community from content that endangers minors.

“Even if your video is suitable for advertisers, inappropriate comments could result in your video receiving limited or no ads,” the company added. 

The videos that are really going to see these effects are the ones that “seem likely to attract predatory comments,” YouTube told The Verge. Creators can appeal YouTube’s decision and the company says that the limits will be lifted soon, although it’s unclear when exactly that will occur. 

Last week YouTuber Matt Watson uploaded a video that showed what he called a “wormhole” which allowed possible pedophiles to exchange child pornography.

The video’s description reads: “YouTube’s recommended algorithm is facilitating pedophiles’ ability to connect with each other, trade contact info, and link to actual CP [child pornography] in the comments. I can consistently get access to it from vanilla, never-before-used YouTube accounts via innocuous videos in less than 10 minutes, in sometimes less than five clicks. Additionally, I have video evidence that these videos are being monetized by YouTube, brands like McDonald’s, Lysol, Disney, Reese’s, and more.”

At the time, YouTube told the Daily Dot that the company “took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting illegal activity to authorities and disabling comments on tens of millions of videos that include minors. There’s more to be done, and we continue to work to improve and catch abuse more quickly.”

These big changes have YouTubers freaking out that they could see the effects themselves and lose revenue, or be expected to constantly police their comments sections. But the platform says it’s trying to ease the concerns of its users while protecting its community and hanging on to advertisers, who have been distancing themselves from the platform since Watson’s video went viral.

As of now, YouTube has gone into overdrive deleting millions of comments, disabling comments from certain videos that might draw the attention of pedophiles, removing users, and working to change its algorithm.

H/T The Verge



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*First Published: Feb 24, 2019, 8:47 am CST