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#YouTubewakeup: What You Need To Know

#YouTubewakeup: What You Need To Know

The hashtag #YoutTubewakeup continues to be a major trender Thursday after a viral video suggested Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL)'s Youtube property has a "wormhole into a soft-core pedophilia ring."

What Happened

YouTuber MattsWhatItIs posted a video Sunday which demonstrated how never-before-used YouTube accounts and "innocuous videos" can be "less than five clicks" away from posts with links to child porn in the comments, he said. 

Some of the videos show ads from some of the world's biggest brands, including Mcdonald's Corp (NYSE: MCD) and Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS). 

The comment sections of videos featuring clearly underage kids includes "pedophiles trading social media contacts and providing links to actual child porn," the YouTuber said. The problem is that "YouTube's algorithm, through some kind of glitch or error in its programming, is actually facilitating their ability to do this."

Major advertisers have started removing their ads on YouTube, including Disney, Nestle and "Fortnite" maker Epic Games, Bloomberg reported. Other companies like Canada Goose Holdings Inc (NYSE: GOOS) said they're looking into the issue.

Why It's Important

News commentator and YouTube personality Philip DeFranco said on his channel that it's unclear if YouTube has the capability to fully clean up its platform, as an average of 18,000 hours of new content is uploaded to the platform every 60 minutes.

Many of the videos posted featuring children technically don't break any guidelines and are "uploaded for completely innocent reasons," he said. It's fair to demand YouTube remove videos for the sole reason that they are viewed by pedophiles "preying on children in the comment section," DeFranco said. 

What's Next

YouTube said in a comment on DeFranco's post that it continues to work "incredibly hard to root out horrible behavior on our platform," including disabling comments on tens of millions of videos and closing more than 400 channels "for the comments they left on videos."

The company is also reporting illegal comments to law enforcement authorities.

"There is more to be done, and we are continuing to grow our team in order to keep people safe," YouTube said. 

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Posted-In: advertising Bloomberg Philip DeFranco YouTubeNews Media Best of Benzinga


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