Photo: Patrick Semansky, Associate Press
YouTube announced Thursday that it would prevent users from commenting on most videos featuring minors, in response to reports that pedophiles have used comments to find, track and exploit children.
Under the new YouTube policy, users will no longer be able to comment on videos highlighting children under 13 years old. YouTube has indicated its intention to disable comments on videos that include children ages 13 to 18 if the content is likely to attract predatory behavior.
YouTube, which is part of Google, said that setting up new rules would take several months and would identify minors in videos with the help of software.
"We recognize that feedback is an integral part of the YouTube experience and how you connect with your audience and increase your audience." At the same time, the important milestones we share today are essential for the audience. youth security, "said the company in a blog post.
YouTube's decision comes two weeks after a video-blogger explained how the site had allowed what he called a "network of soft-core pedophiles". In many cases, suspected pedophiles took advantage of YouTube's commenting system, where they posted timestamps so that others could move on to times when children were compromising positions. Users who watch videos from minors will benefit from additional videos featuring children via YouTube's recommendation engine.
YouTube initially responded last week by removing tens of millions of comments. with more than 400 channels, on videos involving minors. The revelations also provoked a strong reaction from major brands that advertise on YouTube, including Nestle and Disney, which have suspended their advertising spend on the site.
On Thursday, YouTube announced that it had accelerated its work on new software to more effectively detect and suppress predator comments, adding that it had ended new chains putting children at risk. The company announced that it would grant an exception to the new ban on the broadcast of comments for "a small number of channels actively moderating their comments and taking additional measures to protect children".
YouTube has long struggled to monitor and remove problematic content from its gigantic platform, where users download 400 hours of content per minute. In recent years, he has faced controversies over militant extremist content, hateful conspiracy videos, and violent, sexually suggestive clips reaching children. Last year, a coalition of consumer and privacy groups filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, alleging that YouTube also violated the national law on the protection of children's privacy by collecting information. data on children under 13 years old.
Since the video blogger documented how pedophiles shared timestamps of moments of sexual suggestiveness, a parent in Florida discovered that a clip explaining how to commit suicide had been embedded in children's videos on YouTube and You Tube Kids, a application specially designed for children.