Several large companies have "paused" advertising on YouTube after video blogger Matt Watson posted a 20-minute video on Sunday that exposed how the video site has allegedly helped facilitate a "soft-core pedophilia ring."
What are the details?
Watson detailed how Google's video platform has a "wormhole" that can be used to identify videos depicting young girls in activities that could be misconstrued by pedophiles as sexually suggestive.
"Over the past 48 hours I have discovered a wormhole into a soft-core pedophilia ring on Youtube," Watson wrote in the description of the video. "Youtube's recommended algorithm is facilitating pedophiles' ability to connect with each other, trade contact info, and link to actual CP in the comments. I can consistently get access to it from vanilla, never-before-used Youtube accounts via innocuous videos in less than ten minutes, in sometimes less than five clicks.. Additionally, I have video evidence that these videos are being monetized by Youtube, brands like McDonald's, Lysol, Disney, Reese's, and more."
Walt Disney Co., Nestle SA, and video game maker Epic Games Inc. are among the companies that have postponed ad spending on the website, Bloomberg reported.
As of Thursday morning, Watson's video had garnered nearly 2 million views.
What did YouTube say?
"Any content — including comments — that endangers minors is abhorrent and we have clear policies prohibiting this on YouTube. We took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting illegal activity to authorities and disabling violative comments," a YouTube spokeswoman told Bloomberg in an email.
On Tuesday, YouTube updated its "Community Guidelines" on how it would enforce its policies on content that "crosses the line."
Watch Watson's video:
YouTube is facilitating the sexual exploitation of children, and it's being monetized (2019) youtu.be