We know that it doesn’t take much in 2019 to find pornography. Whether you’re looking for it or not, the mere use of social media makes you a target, and it’s a growing concern among parents of teens as the internet continues to grow more dangerous than ever before.
We’ve talked about the secret codes and hashtags the pornography industry is using on popular apps like Instagram and Snapchat. But a new study this week is warning parents of the dangers of sexual exploitation that is being monetized on YouTube.
YouTube vlogger, MattsWhatItIs took to the video streaming platform on Sunday with a disgusting warning to parents about just how easily your child could become a victim of sexual exploitation by using the site.
“Over the past 48 hours I have discovered a wormhole into a soft-core pedophilia ring on Youtube,” Matt says at the beginning of the video, which has been viewed over 1.3 million times since it was posted on Sunday. “Youtube’s recommended algorithm is facilitating pedophiles’ ability to connect with each-other, trade contact info, and link to actual [Child Pornography] in the comments.”
The way YouTube’s algorithm works by tracking your search, and then suggesting content you may be interested in watching. The recommendations keep you on the website longer, allowing YouTube to make more money from the ads you’ll see, and continue tracking your viewing trends to provide the best user experience.
YouTube’s algorithm, as Matt explains, has a loophole, which pedophiles have used to prey on children, swap information, and use as a launching pad for child porn and exploitation. And they’re using our kids’ YouTube videos to do it.
What’s worse, is that, because of this glitch in the algorithm, YouTube is actually making money off of the videos being used to exploit children in this way. Advertisements for brands like McDonald’s, Disney, Lysol, Reese’s and more will appear to the viewer. When those ads are viewed, it’s change in YouTube’s pockets.
“What this is, is child exploitation,” Matt says, before demonstrating just how easy it is for you child to become a victim.
Using a brand new, never before used YouTube account, Matt dives in to show viewers just how easy it is to enter the “wormhole” that is YouTube’s pedophile ring.
Using an innocuous search, Matt is directed to one video, and then another. In just two clicks, the suggested videos have shifted.
“Two clicks,” Matt explains. “I am now in the wormhole…look at this sidebar. There is nothing but little girls.”
As Matt scrolls through the comments, he begins to explain just how these pedophiles operate. They use a technique called time stamping to communicate to each other various points in the video where little girls are in “compromising positions,” or “sexually implicit” positions.
Parents, understand this: these are NOT racy videos of little girls who got on the webcam when their mom wasn’t home and tried to seduce an old man. They’re purely innocent. Girls doing a cartwheel or sitting on the floor with her legs crossed…one wrong move, and she’s time stamped, making it easy for hundreds, if not thousands of other pedophiles to be directed to that exact point in the video.
It’s time stamping that takes a child from doing a hand stand on her couch to becoming a victim of sexual child exploitation.
“One of the prominent things that I want to point out is the fact that once you enter into this wormhole, there is no other content available. Once you enter into this wormhole for whatever reason, YouTube’s algorithm is glitching out to the point that nothing but these videos exist. This facilitates the pedophiles’ ability to find this content.”
Of course, there is advertising on some of these videos which, in the simplest of terms means that YouTube is facilitating pedophilia, and making money off of it.
In 2017, the video streaming giant released a statement saying they’re “toughening their approach” to protect children and families using the platform. One of the ways they claimed to be doing this was by disabling the comments on videos of minors that appear to have inappropriate sexual or predatory comments.
“This is significant,” Matt says, “Because that means that we know that YouTube has an algorithm in place that detects some kind of unusual, predatory behavior on these kinds of videos. And yet, all that is happening is the comments are disabled?”
Matt points back to the wormhole saying that disabling the comments doesn’t do anything when the wormhole keeps users stuck on a never-ending cycle of little girls.
“How can no one see, once you are in this loophole, there is nothing but more videos of little girls. How has YouTube not seen this?” He continues, “we have nothing but videos that pedophiles are uploading, collecting, and doing whatever with.”
To YouTube’s credit, Matt says that when he reported comments and inappropriate behavior, the platform did remove it. However, the user accounts associated with links to child pornography, time stamping, and inappropriate comments, remained active.
Matt says that these pedophiles use the comments to connect with the girls in the video and others like them. They then prompt them to do “challenges.” Again, things that seem totally innocuous to a young girl, disgusting pedophile men are giving unsolicited direction and getting exactly what they want.
Examples from the video include popsicle challenges, yoga challenges, twister challenges,
These challenges are beyond disturbing, and they’re being produced and reproduced in droves online.
The thing about this, is that searching something like a yoga challenge, is totally normal. These predators aren’t looking for child pornography, and they’re not searching inappropriate terms. Yet YouTube is chalk full of it.
“Exploitation is happening right underneath people’s noses right here on YouTube, and it’s disgusting, and no one is doing anything about it,” Matt says.
Parents, we know that the internet is not a safe place for kids. We know that children should not be posting videos or actively chatting on the inter webs. We know these things, but most of our children are on YouTube. They watch the videos, they follow the influencers, and many want their own shot on the other side of the screen.
Stay vigilant mamas. Educate yourself and stay in-the-know with what your kid and their friends are up to online.
Warning: the video does have some foul language as Matt is visibly emotional about what he’s finding.