Published: Fri, February 22, 2019
Tech | By Constance Martin

Nestle, McDonald's, others pull ads from YouTube

Nestle, McDonald's, others pull ads from YouTube

"Any content - including comments - that endangers minors is abhorrent and we have clear policies prohibiting this on YouTube", Cho said. The initial videos weren't meant to be pornographic, but users in the comments section posted time stamps to "the points in the video where little girls are in compromising positions", Watson explained.

Youtube's algorithm offers videos to users with suggested videos that match other content they have seen before, and it can lead YouTube users towards videos that include young females doing gymnastics, playing Twister, or playing in pools.

Basically, what has happened, according to a report on The Verge, is pedophiles are frequenting or stealing posted videos of children, making lewd comments, and time-stamping points in the video which, in their eyes, features a sexually gratifying image.

Nestlé said, "An extremely low volume of some of our advertisements were shown on videos on YouTube where inappropriate comments were being made", adding that it is investigating the matter with YouTube and its partners and has chose to pause its advertising on the platform globally.

"In the last 48 hours... we've disabled comments on on tens of millions of videos", YouTube stated.

YouTube has terminated more than 400 channels on the video-sharing service for hosting comments from child predators. Numerous videos have hundreds of thousands, if not millions of views, with hundreds of comments. In many cases, the site reported, videos of young children to which pre-roll ads are attached have racked up hundreds of thousands and even millions of views.

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This is not a problem new to YouTube and to the Google-owned platform's credit, it has been battling the issue consistently over the past year.

Many of these videos were also accompanied by adverts placed by major brands such as Nestlé, Fortnite and Disney.

Disney and more pull YouTube ads in response to possible child exploitation. A YouTube spokesperson has confirmed the numbers in an email statement.

YouTube has promised the companies involved that they will refund all ad spend that appeared on the videos and channels affected by this decision, which amounted to less than $8,000 in total.

YouTube derives most of its revenue from advertising, and it has been one of Google's fastest-growing units as consumers spend an increasing amount of time watching videos online.

In the meantime, YouTube continues to face pressure from advertisers.

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