YouTube suspends comments on videos of kids

YouTube suspends comments on videos of kids

Alphabet Inc's YouTube said on Thursday it had disabled comments on videos featuring minors, a week after a magazine reported the platform displayed ads next to videos that showed exploitation of children.

As part of YouTube's bid to clamp down on harmful online behavior, it said it would be introducing a "more effective classifier" capable of identifying and deleting twice as many predatory comments.

Now, it will expand that to suspend comments on virtually all videos featuring children, as well as videos featuring older kids that "could be at risk of attracting predatory behaviour". The new rules will take several months to implement, it added.

But it will now disable comments on nearly all videos of children and young people.

In a tweet, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki linked to the update and explained the change: "Recently, there have been some deeply concerning incidents regarding child safety on YouTube". In the comments of those videos, users would post time stamps linking to other videos, and YouTube's algorithms would recommend even more of those kinds of videos.

The incident raised fears of a fresh "brand safety" crisis for YouTube, which lost advertisers a year ago following revelations that messages appeared on channels promoting conspiracy theories, white nationalism and other objectionable content.

The company has also permanently banned comments from channels that were caught with a history of "predatory comments". Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said in a statement. "They will leave YouTube and go to platforms like Facebook where they can continue their commenting and banter". For one, how can YouTube automatically identify whether a video features a child?

YouTube's parent company, Google, is a global leader in artificial intelligence and machine learning, but YouTube has had limited success in using these technologies to keep troubling content off of its platform. We assume YouTube will do both, but we've reached out to the company for clarification. But the technologies struggle with subtle or ambiguous situations, where the human capacity for understanding underlying context of images and words is crucial.

YouTube announced on Thursday that it would be disabling comments on videos featuring children.

"No form of content that endangers minors is acceptable on YouTube, which is why we have terminated certain channels that attempt to endanger children in any way", the blog continued. Once again, after the video was flagged by her and others, it took a couple of days for YouTube to pull it, said Hess, who has been writing about the issue on her parenting blog.

In the past YouTube Kids has been criticised for using algorithms to gather content, which has led to some inappropriate videos being found on the site.

But comments have proven to be at least as troublesome to YouTube as its videos.

But this month she saw the video again, this time on YouTube.

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