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YouTube advertisers quit over predatory child videos

25 November 2017

Johanna Wright YouTube Vice President said, "Across the board, we have scaled up resources to ensure that thousands of people are working around the clock to monitor, review and make the right decisions across our ads and content policies".

Several big-name brands including food companies Mars (M&Ms, Snickers) and Mondelez (Oreos, Cadbury), Diageo (Guinness, Smirnoff vodka, Johnnie Walker scotch whisky), and German retail chain Lidl pulled their advertising from YouTube upon learning their ads ran alongside the videos, The Times first reported. These videos will be removed and the comment space blocked.

Children are reportedly stumbling across the videos as they pop up as suggestions in apps like YouTube Kids.

Since June, YouTube has made sure that ads are removed from any inappropriate videos that target children. "While some of these videos may be suitable for adults, others are completely unacceptable", and the company is in the process of removing the content.

A single dad built massively popular You Tube channels by filming his young daughters screaming in fear bathing pretending to be babies spitting up food being force-fed and “peeing” — content that millions of people watched

Companies like Mars, Lidl and Adidas said they were shocked and appalled that the adverts were displayed alongside exploitative and inappropriate content. YouTube have admitted they need to do more. The channel had 8 million subscribers before YouTube took it down last week. As a part of that mission, the number of Trusted Flaggers will be increased to tackle the problem. A British writer, James Bridle, also listed some of the questionable videos in his online essay published recently. These videos include those with content that could be "endangering" a minor, even though that was not originally the uploader's content. YouTube has also tighten its age restriction on family videos that contain mature themes and adult humor, so they can be viewed only by those 18 years and above. It also moved to add warnings to extremist videos and prevented comments on them as a way to make the videos harder to find. Now, once YouTube sees this type of statement, all comments on the particular video will be turned off. In August, a volunteer told BBC that "there is no reliable way for a concerned parent, child in danger, or anyone else to reliably report and get action on a predatory channel".

Tony Stower, public and policy affairs manager at the NSPCC, said: "This is yet another example of why it is not good enough for sites like YouTube to be marking their own homework".

In response, a YouTube spokesman said: "There shouldn't be any ads running on this content and we are working urgently to fix this".

US Navy aircraft carrying 11 crashes off Japan
Japan's Defence Ministry said the crash site is about 150km northwest of Okinotorishima, a Japanese atoll. The US Navy lost 10 personnel in August, when the USS John McCain collided with a tanker near Singapore.

YouTube advertisers quit over predatory child videos