YouTube has a new problem to solve, and this time it involves inappropriate or exploitative videos aimed at children. YouTube is taking steps to tackle the problem, and it’s starting by removing dozens of channels and thousands of videos from the site. However, there’s more work to be done.
Since its earliest days YouTube has had to stop people uploading videos they shouldn’t be uploading. At one time this was all about piracy and porn, but content creators have moved on a little since then. Now, it’s a strange mix of videos either aimed at or starring children.
Exploiting Children for Clicks
There are two types of videos worrying YouTube users who have noticed the phenomenon. The first are videos in which adults get children to do strange and unusual things. And the second are videos in which pop culture characters are animated to engage in bizarre and inappropriate acts.
This problem has been reported by several online publications, including Medium, BuzzFeed, The New York Times, and Mashable. And YouTube is now taking action to address these concerns, and stop similar videos surfacing in the future. All of which was detailed on the Official YouTube Blog.
First, YouTube is removing “content featuring minors that may be endangering a child, even if that was not the uploader’s intent”. It’s also removing ads from any “content depicting family entertainment characters engaged in violent, offensive, or otherwise inappropriate behavior”.
It’s also “blocking inappropriate comments on videos featuring minors”, and even “turning off all comments on videos of minors”. YouTube is also planning to “release a comprehensive guide on how creators can make enriching family content” for the redesigned YouTube Kids.
Mo Videos, Mo Problems
YouTube has faced intense criticism this year for its all-or-nothing approach to monetization, with some YouTubers seeing their earnings completely dry up as a result. However, this just shows how difficult it is to police a platform on which 300 hours of video is uploaded every minute.
Have you ever seen a video on YouTube that has set alarm bells off in your head? If so, did you report the content? Or just assume someone else would? What do you think of the channels exploiting children for entertainment? Please let us know in the comments below.