Following a Verge story revealing examples of predatory comments on videos of minors, YouTube announced on Wednesday that they will turn off comments entirely on videos where the video-streaming detects predatory behavior.
Recently, The Verge reported on the number of predatory comments on videos of minors. The Verge reports, “videos of young children doing activities like gymnastics were being targeted by commenters making sexual comments, or inviting the children to talk.” Following the report, YouTube removed several of the videos, some of which had “hundreds of thousands or more views.
The company later issued a statement saying they will take more steps to make sure they do not appear on YouTube. “Comments of this nature are abhorrent and we work with NCMEC to report illegal behavior to law enforcement,” the company wrote in a blog post. “Starting this week we will begin taking an even more aggressive stance by turning off all comments on videos of minors where we see these types of comments.”
In response to the recent criticism in regards to how the platform handles minor created content, YouTube also announced several changes. The company announced they will be using technology to flag problematic videos more quickly and will remove ads from “inappropriate” videos targeting families. YouTube also said they will provide new content and guidelines on YouTube Kids content. Also, the streaming site plans on working with experts to handle the content on the platform.
YouTube has been hit with criticism following a viral Medium post revealed bizarre videos targeted towards children. “These latest enforcement changes will take shape over the weeks and months ahead as we work to tackle this evolving challenge,” the company said.