Brands Pulling Their Ads From YouTube Over Appearance On Paedophile Videos
Looks like YouTube can't get a breather from controversies. The video streaming giant has earlier created a stir when major brands pulled their ads over extremist videos. Advertisers were appalled after seeing their ads appearing on extremist videos, the website later fixed the issue and introduced different mechanisms to combat it in future. Now, yet again, a similar controversy has stirred up wherein Lidl, Mars and Cadbury maker Mondelez is pulling its ads from YouTube after they found their ads on paedophile videos.
These videos show children in sexualised manner, and disturbingly enough, they have over ‘hundreds of comments’ by suspected paedophile. The issue first came to light when Times investigation team run by volunteers who flag inappropriate videos reported it on the site.
Here are a few excerpts from the report:
The evidence they gathered is shocking. Screenshots show how one YouTube user left dozens of inappropriate comments on videos posted by boys aged between seven and 14.
“Send me the 2 minute naked wrestling match private,” the user wrote. “And I will tell you everything you need to know to grow your channel. I wanna see u naked. It feels awesome to be naked on YouTube, try it bro.”
The flaggers revealed that after some of these videos have been uploaded again via new profiles after they were taken down by YouTube. Flaggers forwarded the issue to the U.S. law enforcement over YouTube's inability to share the information about the accounts that upload such videos.
Here's what the flaggers had to say about YouTube's lack of cooperation:
YouTube, part of one of the most valuable enterprises in the world, gave them no help, according to one of the flaggers who spoke to The Times anonymously.
“It should not be our responsibility alone to investigate and liaise with law enforcement,” he said. “YouTube’s teams should be the ones actively passing this through their established channels with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children [an American organisation] and other law enforcement agencies to reduce this kind of illegal activity.”
After the issue gained momentum, YouTube came out with a statement:
”We are shocked and appalled to see that our adverts have appeared alongside such exploitative and inappropriate content,“ said Mars in a statement. ”We have taken the decision to immediately suspend all our online advertising on YouTube and Google globally… Until we have confidence that appropriate safeguards are in place, we will not advertise on YouTube and Google.”
Well, this is certainly not the first time when the video streaming giant has been accused of such practice. We think that the video streaming giant needs to devise better methods to monitor disturbing content on their site.