YouTube announced Thursday that it will be turning off the comments on nearly all videos featuring kids, after reports last week of pedophiles leaving inappropriate comments on innocuous videos of children.
As For Every Mom previously reported, vlogger Matt Watson took to the video streaming platform last Sunday with a 20-minute informational clip showing just how easily our children could become victims of sexual exploitation and never even know it.
Pedophiles are preying on videos of young girls doing gymnastics, or sitting on the floor in a compromising position. They take to the comments with what’s called a time stamp, linking other predators and pedophiles back to those moments in our children’s videos where legs are split apart, or their mouths appear a certain way.
It’s a level of disgusting that could get just about anyone’s blood-boiling. And as more concerns surface about YouTube’s safety procedures, the platform is facing an uphill battle with parents and advertisers on the daily.
The announcement about turning off comments on these videos comes at a good time.
Several advertisers including Nestle, Disney, AT&T, and Fortnite-maker Epic Games pulled their ads from YouTube after reports of the not-so-secret pedophile ring found that videos being used in this inappropriate manner were actually making YouTube money by featuring ads from these mega companies alongside several of the videos in question.
YouTube says it will take several months for the company to disable comments on all content featuring minors — something that could potentially affect millions of posts on the site. The company started the process last week when it turned off comments from tens of millions of videos.
In a Tweet on Thursday, YouTube urged users to always flag or report inappropriate content immediately, as this helps them monitor what is causing concern on the site.
If you see videos including harmful or dangerous challenges on YouTube, we encourage you to flag them to us immediately. These challenges are clearly against our Community Guidelines. More info here: https://t.co/H0C5tCfn5S
— YouTube (@YouTube) February 27, 2019
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki further acknowledged the concerns Thursday, tweeting, “Nothing is more important to us than ensuring the safety of young people on the platform.”
Recently, there have been some deeply concerning incidents regarding child safety on YouTube. Nothing is more important to us than ensuring the safety of young people on the platform. More on the steps we’re taking to better protect children & families: https://t.co/5ZYaMrMpsI
— Susan Wojcicki (@SusanWojcicki) February 28, 2019
We’ve discussed it time and time again on this site, but social media is a slippery slope with kids. And while YouTube is taking measures to make it a little bit “safer,” the best thing we can do as parents is keep our kids off of social media.