YouTube pulls 150,00 videos of kids after obscene comments

This article is more than 12 months old

SAN FRANCISCO YouTube pulled 150,000 videos of children after lewd comments about them were posted by viewers, as the Google-owned platform sought to reassure advertisers their messages would be kept out of compromising situations.

It confirmed on Thursday that it deleted hundreds of accounts along with the thousands of videos.

The move came after a British newspaper reported that advertisements for big-name brands were displayed alongside videos of children or teens which, while innocent on their own, drew viewer comments that seemed paedophiliac in nature.

Media reports indicate the situation made advertisers skittish, with some halting YouTube advertising.

US computer maker HP told AFP it stopped advertising on YouTube due to concerns.

"We are deeply troubled to learn that one of our advertisements was placed in a terrible and inappropriate context," its spokesman said.

Google said it has also banned advertising on more than 2 million videos and 50,000 channels that were presented as family-friendly content but were not.

And it blocked comments from being made for another 625,000 videos.

YouTube said it has clear policies against videos or comments that sexualize or exploit children, and that it emphatically applies them when alerted to violations.

"We have recently reinforced our approach toward videos and comments featuring children which, even if they are not illegal, are still worrying," its spokesman said. - AFP