The hits just keep on coming for YouTube. Still reeling from last year’s so-called “Adpocalypse,” and the latest scandal over blackmailers abusing their copyright claim system to extort money from content creators, the online streaming portal has been forced to disable comments on any video featuring children.
“Over the past week, we’ve been taking a number of steps to better protect children and families, including suspending comments on tens of millions of videos,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. “Now, we will begin suspending comments on most videos that feature minors, with the exception of a small number of channels that actively moderate their comments and take additional steps to protect children.”
The decision came as several of YouTube’s advertisers, including Disney, McDonalds and Nestlé Foods suspended their ad campaigns over disturbing and offensive comments by pedophiles on kid videos. The videos themselves were not to blame mind you, just the disturbed viewers who would leave disgusting comments after watching them. Youtube even had to go so far as to pull videos completely, and kill channels over what is now an epidemic infecting the streaming portal’s comments systems.
This isn’t the first time YouTube has had to look closer at videos featuring, or targeted at children either. In 2018, several channels published disturbing videos with sexual messages aimed at child viewers, prompting the portal to kill many channels caught in the practice.
But this time around, YouTube is faced with having to peruse every single comment in a video to make sure they are “advertiser friendly” or to simply kill the feature on videos featuring children altogether.
To be safe, Youtube chose the later. And rightfully so. Frankly, the comments system if a bit anachronistic. Sure, it’s fun to give a content creator praise for the work they do, and YouTube’s algorithm rewards videos that go viral with sharing and comments back and forth.
Youtube does say that any content creator that actively moderates their Channel’s comments section and take additional steps to protect the children featured, can avoid the disabling. As if they don’t have enough to deal with.
“We understand that comments are an important way creators build and connect with their audiences,” Google concluded, “we also know that this is the right thing to do to protect the YouTube community.”
Indeed. As is always the case, a small percentage will end up spoiling the fun for everyone, and YouTube was right to disable comments when a video features minors, until they can figure out how to filter out any comments that are unsavory.
But once they do, perhaps that will also help with hate speech, cyber bullying, and other nefarious activities that usually rear an ugly head in the comments section.
Hat Tip – TC