YouTube cracks down on disturbing content featuring children after backlash

A 3D-printed You Tube icon is seen in front of a displayed You Tube logo in this illustration taken

Those ads are removed immediately and the publishers blacklisted, it said.

The Google-owned company will apply machine learning technology and automated tools in order to discover potentially exploitive content. YouTube has terminated 50 channels and removed thousands of videos as also advertisements from 5,00,000 exploitive videos under the current set of guidelines. It includes sexual, extremist and unhealthy videos shown on the platform.

Johanna Wright, YouTube's vice president of product management, promised tougher application of its user guidelines, removing inappropriate ads targeting families, blocking inappropriate comments on videos featuring minors and providing further guidance for creators of family-friendly content.

Undoubtedly videos on YouTube are seen by every age group.

Recent reports have called attention to collections of videos sprinkled with profanity and violent themes on YouTube Kids, the video-sharing site's kid-friendly platform. Google's algorithm would then surface the videos in Google's "child-friendly" YouTube Kids app, springing them on unsuspecting children.

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"In recent months, we've noticed a growing trend around content on YouTube that attempts to pass as family-friendly, but is clearly not", wrote Johanna Wright, YouTube's vice president of product management, in a blog post dated November 22.

A Mars spokesperson said in a comment to the news company: "We are shocked and appalled to see that our adverts have appeared alongside such exploitative and inappropriate content". The media outlet also contacted YouTube regarding some of its verified accounts featuring such videos, each of which allegedly had millions of subscribers.

"We have clear policies against videos and comments on YouTube which sexualise or exploit children and we enforce them aggressively whenever alerted to such content". To help better understand how to treat this content, YouTube will be growing the number of experts it works with, and doubling the number of Trusted Flaggers it partners with in this area.

YouTube has finally taken a step for controlling videos that are aimed at kids. In August, a volunteer told BBC that "there is no reliable way for a concerned parent, child in danger, or anyone else to reliably report and get action on a predatory channel".

As part of the changes, YouTube will be evaluating its verification policy. "There shouldn't be any ads running on this content and we are working urgently to fix this".

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