YouTube is having a child exploitation crisis bubble up again

More and more people are discovering that minors videos are being targeted by pedophiles. They use YouTube videos to contact each other and exchange child pornography outside the platform.

Innocent kids’ videos are tainted by child-predator comments. They put timestamps directing the viewer to a point where the child unwarily poses in a presumably sexual way!

It also happened in some cases that the video itself even after deletion – is being uploaded again by those predators and this time, the views rate is higher than one would expect from a video containing a child playing with toys or practicing gymnastics!

What’s shocking the most – is that YouTube monetizes ads on those child exploitation videos – Some of the big advertisers have included Disney, Nestle, Adidas, Deutsche Bank, Amazon, and Oreo.

So this is how the story broke and what it means for Youtube in the short term…

Vloggers Discover a Youtube Pedophilia Loophole

MattsWhatItIs isn’t the first to address the crisis, but he’s the one that caught everyones’ attention highlighting that we need immediate and actionable steps to eliminate this “soft-core pedophilia ring on Youtube” as he calls it.

Matt states that he could enter a loophole of pedophile friendly videos in 5 seconds using a never-before-used youtube account.
He indicated that Youtube is facilitating this and that tagging videos or turning off the comments doesn’t help eliminating the on-going crisis as long as those videos are available to viewers.
His video garnered around 3M views 89K likes and, surprisingly, 13K dislikes!
Another Vlogger, Philip DeFranco, also covered the problem, and this one, received an official reply from YouTube:

“We appreciate you raising awareness of this with your fans, and that you realize all of us at YouTube are working incredibly hard to root out horrible behavior on our platform,”

“In the last 48 hours, beyond our normal protections we’ve disabled comments on tens of millions of videos,” said youtube in their comment. “We’ve also terminated over 400 channels for the comments they left on videos and reported illegal comments to law enforcement,” they continued.

TED Talk Normalizing Pedophilia

Amongst the few videos that discussed Pedophilia, we came across this TED Talk trying to get people to mature with regards to how they think about Pedophilia. Madeleine floated the point that Pedophilia is a disease and seemed like she was arguing that people should accept pedophilia and seemed to be attempting to normalize it.

Her video garnered 189K views, 1.5K likes, and 14K dislikes.

ted talk normalizing pedophilia

Has YouTube Acted Upon This?

Well, this wasn’t the first time YouTube falls under child exploitation issues. The platform was accused back in 2017 when a bunch of suggestive videos were found on the platform. At that time, YouTube updated its kids’ app and added new constraint policies to end the matter.

This year, after thousands and thousands of pedophile comments were found on scantily-clad children videos, many advertisers whose brand names appeared on this type of content pulled their ads from YouTube.

Presumably, right after brands boycotted YouTube advertising, YouTube moved into action and initiated a 10K viewer requirement from creators to start earning ad revenue.

Also they increased their human workforce as well as updating their algorithms detecting possibly extremist content. Started blocking comments across thousands of videos where pedophiles comments were found and tagged potentially adult videos attempting to make them harder to find.

“Until Google can protect our brand from offensive content of any kind, we are removing all advertising from YouTube,” AT&T stated to the USA Magazine.

In response, a spokeswoman for Google said that YouTube took the initial step by deleting +400 channels because of inappropriate comments they’d left on videos.

Our Advice for YouTube

We at Mintrics, feel a duty to help eliminate this issue from the internet and secure our children while using social media freely. We conducted some research and found that minors’ YouTube channels are barely viewed by adults but by other young people from approximately the same ages.

1# Analyze timestamped scenes

The recurring element from those videos is the comments with the redirecting timestamps to suggestive scenes in the videos. It would be a good start for YouTube to start analyzing the comments section of each video starring a minor and check the timestamped scenes – a further step would be to cut those scenes from the videos or send a warning to the creator of the video that their video will be deleted.

2# Analyze user behaviors

If YouTube increased their user behavior analysis, they’re more likely to eliminate pedophiles channels as long as they’re interacting with this type of content and exposing themselves.

3# Tag videos

Flagging videos that violate the guidelines must be taken more seriously. YouTube should be able to update their flagging guidelines  so that even minors videos are taken down when they contain suggestive poses or sexual figures that might be taken as self-entertaining material for child predators.

4# Request adults permission for minors uploading videos

Parents must review the content of their children for any inappropriate content before it’s uploaded on the platform and if Youtube is wary that the video is receiving any unwarranted behavior receive a notification to review their content.

What are your thoughts on the subject? Let us know in the comments below!