Many major brands, like Epic Games, Nestle, and Disney, stated that they pulled their ads on YouTube. The effort was made after their adverts showed up on kids’ videos where pedophiles lurked in the comments section.
This week, a YouTube user, Matt Watson, published a video about a pedophilia-like behavior on YouTube. The videos that pedophiles targeted did not breach the rules of the network.
For example, some videos show young girls performing gymnastics or stretching. However, when you look at the comments section, some remarks have suggestive details targeting the kids.
These pedophiles marked time stamps to emphasize child nudity. They also objectified the kids in the comments section.
In a report, a spokesperson from Nestle confirmed that it has paused its advertising on YouTube. Epic Games also did the same. The company stated that it has reached out to YouTube to identify actions it will take to get rid of this type of content from its network.
Disney, Peloton, and Grammarly also pulled their ads. They issued a statement urging the network to alleviate the latest issue. Grammarly and Peloton saw their ads being placed on those videos in question.
These companies stated that they withdraw their ads from YouTube until the company can assure them that their brands’ ads will not appear on offensive content of any kind.
YouTube, however, refused to comment on certain advertisers. However, it has released a statement:
“Any content — including comments — that endangers minors is abhorrent and we have clear policies prohibiting this on YouTube. We took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting illegal activity to authorities and disabling violative comments.” – YouTube
The overall ad spending on those videos was less than $8,000 in the last two months. YouTube is planning to refund it.
In 2017, various companies pulled their ad spend from YouTube after they discovered that their ads appeared on offensive content. However, they have resumed their ad spending on YouTube in January 2018.
Google has taken several steps in the past two years to guarantee its advertisers that this kind of issue will never occur again.
What Is The Real Problem?
Matt Watson’s video has been viewed a million times since he uploaded it on Sunday. He said that the recommendation system of the video-sharing site is one of the culprits. The system guides predators to similar videos of underage individuals. And those videos carry ads for major brands.
YouTube is still struggling to police content that showcases kids. Several reports arising about pedophiles lurking on YouTube videos for minors. They leave sexual comments.
Before, YouTube stated that it would improve its efforts to protect families on its platform. Up to now, the issue remains the same.
Now, people are questioning whether or not YouTube is just too wide to offer children a safe place. This issue will continue to show up until YouTube will be serious about its campaign against offensive content. But parents must also do their part in protecting their kids. That is, they must get them off the platform.