YouTube kills ads on 50,000 channels as advertisers flee over disturbing child content


For the second time in less than a year, major advertisers are fleeing YouTube after finding their ads were paired with offensive content — this time, directed at children. And the number of disturbing videos targeted at child audiences is much larger than previously known, YouTube’s response reveals.

Over the past week, YouTube says it has “terminated more than 270 accounts and removed over 150,000 videos from our platform in the last week.” The company also “turned off comments on over 625,000 videos targeted by child predators.

“Finally, over the past week we removed ads from nearly 2 million videos and over 50,000 channels masquerading as family-friendly content,” the Google-owned company said in a statement to VICE News. “Content that endangers children is abhorrent and unacceptable to us.”

Adidas, Mars, Hewlett-Packard, and a host of other big brands have all pausedadvertising on YouTube in the wake of articles revealing their ads were showing up alongside sexually explicit comments under videos of children. The tools used to screen such comments, volunteer moderators told the BBC, haven’t been working properly for over a year, allowing between 50,000 and 100,000 “predatory” accounts to remain on YouTube.

The reports on the explicit comments come amid a slew of related stories concerning kids and offensive YouTube content; those revelations include how highly trafficked YouTube channels have been tricking kids into watching disturbing videos, and how YouTube’s search results have been auto-populating with pedophiliac queries, such as “how to have s*x with your kids.”