YouTube has reportedly removed ads from over 50,000 accounts that posed as family-friendly video channels while posting disturbing content marketed to children.
VICE reports that in the wake of a number of advertisers pausing their ad campaigns, YouTube has suspended advertising on approximately 50,000 channels featuring disturbing videos aimed at children. When the problem was initially noted, a YouTube spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that videos and comments sexualizing or exploiting children were expressly forbidden on the platform and stated, “There shouldn’t be any ads running on this content and we are working urgently to fix this.”
Since then, YouTube told VICE that they have “terminated more than 270 accounts and removed over 150,000 videos from our platform in the last week.” Youtube also “turned off comments on over 625,000 videos targeted by child predators.” YouTube revealed to VICE, “Finally, over the past week we removed ads from nearly 2 million videos and over 50,000 channels masquerading as family-friendly content,” and repeated their opinion that “content that endangers children is abhorrent and unacceptable to us.”
YouTube also came under fire this week after it was discovered that when users entered “how to have” into the website’s search bar, they received suggestions such as “how to have s*x with your kids,” “how to have s*x kids,” and “how to have s*x in school.”
Brands such as Adidas, Mars Inc., and Diageo have all paused their ad campaigns on YouTube’s platforms as a result of the the issue. ”We are shocked and appalled to see that our adverts have appeared alongside such exploitative and inappropriate content,“ said candy manufacturer Mars in a statement. ”We have taken the decision to immediately suspend all our online advertising on YouTube and Google globally… Until we have confidence that appropriate safeguards are in place, we will not advertise on YouTube and Google.”