YouTube Shutters Popular 'Toy Freaks' Channel for Violating Child Endangerment Rules

Tammy Harvey
November 25, 2017

Video hosting giant YouTube has begun clamping down on content showing children in vulnerable situations as well as disturbing material aimed at children.

Earlier, the New York Times reported that some videos featuring content that may be inappropriate for children may have slipped through its automated filters and found their way to the YouTube Kids section, considered to be a children-friendly app.

In a blog post on its website on Wednesday, Johanna Wright, YouTube's vice president of product management, said the streaming service has removed 50 channels from its website in the past week.

The Times investigation alleged that YouTube does not do enough to pro-actively check for inappropriate images of children and instead relies on software algorithms, external non-government groups and police forces to flag such content.

Several major companies have pulled their advertising from YouTube after their ads were shown on videos of young children that had attracted scores of comments from pedophiles.

PixabayYouTube srengthens policies against child exploitation.

The presence of those infringing videos, which are aimed at kids, created to excel in YouTube's recommendation algorithm, and populated with popular family characters like Elsa and Spiderman, has triggered a controversy called ElsaGate.

"We're wholly committed to addressing these issues and will continue to invest the engineering and human resources needed to get it right", Wright concluded.

Lidl took aim at parent company Google, claiming the revelations showed that "the strict policies which Google has assured us were in place to tackle offensive content are ineffective".

Similarly, New Jersey-based Mondelez said it was "deeply concerned" and had suspended its advertising on YouTube, too.

A Mars spokesperson said in a comment to the news company: "We are shocked and appalled to see that our adverts have appeared alongside such exploitative and inappropriate content". It has also removed advertisements from 500,000 exploitive videos under these expanded guidelines. "We have stringent guidelines and processes in place and are working with Google and our media buying agencies to understand what went wrong".

"We have taken the decision to immediately suspend all our online advertising on YouTube and Google globally".

Google - as one of the primary portals of internet access often finds itself at the centre of these debates around freedom of expression with relation to the protection of children and more vulnerable people.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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