YouTube’s search suggestion algorithm has been criticized after the company suggested “how to have s*x with your kids” to users.
Dozens of YouTube users reported that searches of “how to have” returned the suggestions: “how to have s*x with your kids,” “how to have s*x kids,” and “how to have s*x in school.”
Type "How to have" in YouTube's search bar.
This was discovered by @RealRedElephant
— Millie Weaver (@Millie__Weaver) November 27, 2017
Why is Youtube providing sexually suggestive auto-complete suggestions?
"How to have s*x with your kids"
But banning conservatives?
— Brett MacDonald (@TweetBrettMac) November 27, 2017
Why the actual FUCK does "how to have sex with your kids" pop up as suggested when you type "how to have" in the @YouTube search?
How about you guys stop demonetizing innocent content and focus on this??? pic.twitter.com/o7omxClTSh
— Blaire White (@MsBlaireWhite) November 27, 2017
BuzzFeed confirmed the claims in their own test on Sunday.
“Earlier today our teams were alerted to this awful autocomplete result and we worked to quickly remove it,” declared YouTube in a statement. “We are investigating this matter to determine what was behind the appearance of this autocompletion.”
In their report, BuzzFeed claimed that a “source familiar with YouTube’s algorithms” said “the odd asterisk in the word ‘s*x’ suggests behavior that’s consistent with a coordinated campaign to populate YouTube with inappropriate search results.”
By using an asterisk in the word “sex,” trolls would have potentially been able to slip past YouTube’s filters.
Last week, it was reported that YouTube’s system for reporting sexualized comments on videos for children had not been “functioning correctly” for over a year.
According to the BBC, “there could be up to 100,000 predatory accounts leaving indecent comments on videos.”