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Main » YouTube steps up takedowns as concerns about kids' videos grow

YouTube steps up takedowns as concerns about kids' videos grow

25 November 2017

The move followed a wave of criticism against the video streaming service.

In a statement emailed to NBC News, Chism said that YouTube updated its community guidelines on November 16, and later that day the channel was terminated after users flagged the videos on the site's "YouTube Kids" App. Chism said he was unaware his videos were being shown on the app.

A forum on the Reddit internet platform dubbed ElsaGate, based on the Walt Disney Co princess, also became a repository of problematic videos.

YouTube has "expanded its enforcement guidelines" concerning the removal of content featuring minors "that may be endangering a child, even if that was not the uploader's intent", Johanna Wright, vice president of product management said in a statement.

YouTube will now block these videos that show real or fake bullying over children or family members.

YouTube has become one of Google's fastest-growing operations in terms of sales by simplifying the process of distributing video online but putting in place few limits on content.

Other videos show adults placing children in disturbing, uncomfortable situations.

YouTube said it has deleted at least 50 channels and removed thousands of videos in the past couple of weeks in support of the new tougher guidelines.

The video hosting giant said further that it had, since June, removed ads, allowing YouTubers to capitalize on the content they post, from as many as 3 million videos "depicting family entertainment characters engaged in violent, offensive, or otherwise inappropriate behavior". As a part of that mission, the number of Trusted Flaggers will be increased to tackle the problem.

In addition, commenting functionality will be disabled on any videos where comments refer to children in a "sexual or predatory" manner. The channel had more than 8 million subscribers when YouTube shut it down last week.

Tim Loughton, a Tory member of the home affairs select committee, told The Times: "Yet again it appears that YouTube's rhetoric about taking child safeguarding seriously nowhere matches its actions".

Many appear to have been posted by innocent children, but the investigation revealed they are being shared widely by predators who flock watch such videos.

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".

A spokesperson for YouTube said: "There shouldn't be any ads running on this content and we are working urgently to fix this".

YouTube steps up takedowns as concerns about kids' videos grow