SOME of YouTube’s biggest ad partners are abandoning the site in the wake of a sickening paedo ring scandal.
Brands including Fortnite and Nestlé have pulled adverts from YouTube following revelations the firm was making cash off of child abuse imagery.
Getty – Contributor Several big brands have pulled their adverts from YouTube following this week’s “paedo ring” scandal
An investigation found that dozens of YouTube clips were being used by “paedo rings” to exploit and sexualise children.
Despite YouTube pledging to ban the disgusting practice several years ago, its algorithms and moderators have repeatedly failed to stamp it out.
To make things worse, the platform automatically posts adverts on the foul clips, meaning they generate revenue for the California tech titan.
Big brands including MacDonald’s, Disney and Nestle inadvertently had their ads played over the videos – and now some of them are fighting back.
SWNS:South West News Service Fortnite maker Epic Games has pulled adverts from YouTube
In a statement, Fortnite creator Epic Games said it was removing ads from YouTube that play before videos, known as pre-rolls.
“We have paused all pre-roll advertising,” an Epic Games spokesperson said.
“Through our advertising agency, we have reached out to Google/YouTube to determine actions they’ll take to eliminate this type of content from their service.”
It’s not the only company jumping ship.
Food giant Nestlé said it had also paused YouTube advertising globally in the wake of the scandal.
“We will revise our decision upon completion of current measures being taken … to ensure Nestlé advertising standards are met,” a spokeswoman said.
It comes after vlogger Matt Watson accused YouTube of failing to stop a “soft-core paedophilia ring” festering on its platform.
His shocking investigation found that paedophiles have formed abominable communities around videos of young children on YouTube.
Alamy An investigation found that dozens of YouTube clips were being used by paedos to exploit and sexualise children
While the clips themselves don’t show nudity – which could be picked up by YouTube’s paedo-hunting AI – they do feature children in “compromising positions” – such asperforming gymnastics or posing in front of a mirror.
In comments on the clips, paedos posted links known as “time-stamps” that took other sickos to specific parts of a video where the children were exposed.
Many posts described the children as “beautiful” or “sexy”, while comments were littered with links to explicit child abuse images and videos on other websites, as well as social media contacts who could help paedos find more illegal clips.
Watson said that YouTube’s algorithms helped the paedo community to thrive by recommending more of the clips to users who have watched similar content before.
He said: “I have discovered a wormhole into a soft-core paedophile ring on YouTube.
“Youtube’s recommended algorithm is facilitating pedophiles’ ability to connect with each-other, trade contact info, and link to actual child pornography 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.
“I’m making this video with only one intention: To bring awareness to it.”
Reuters Nestle has also removed its advertising
YouTube has safety measures in place to detect and take down child abuse content.
That includes otherwise innocuous clips where groups of paedos comment and share their favourite parts.
But while algorithms and human moderators should be picking up the content found by Matt, it appears they’re failing miserably.
A YouTube spokesperson told The Sun that it always removed content and terminated accounts flagged as abusive.
They said: “Any content – including comments – that endangers minors is abhorrent and we have clear policies prohibiting this on YouTube.
“We enforce these policies aggressively, reporting it to the relevant authorities, removing it from our platform and terminating accounts. We continue to invest heavily in technology, teams and partnerships with charities to tackle this issue.
“We have strict policies that govern where we allow ads to appear and we enforce these policies vigorously. When we find content that is in violation of our policies, we immediately stop serving ads or remove it altogether.”
A separate spokesperson told The Sun that YouTube had “taken action” against some of the content in Watson’s video, including deleting clips and accounts.
Getty – Contributor Paedos have formed horrific communities around videos of children on YouTube
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Following Monday’s revelations, the NSPCC blasted YouTube for failing to prioritise children’s safety.
Andy Burrows, NSPCC Associate Head of Child Safety Online, told The Sun: “It is deeply concerning that offenders are able to use YouTube to share links to content that has been clearly edited for their sexual gratification and to make contacts with other abusers, and that the platform’s algorithms are actively pushing this material.
“And the suggestion that YouTube is making money from some of these videos is extremely disturbing.
“Sadly, this is just another example of tech companies not prioritising children’s safety and, once again, shows the only option is for the Government to bring in an independent statutory regulator to force social networks to follow the rules or face tough consequences.”
The NSPCC helpline is a place adults can contact by phone or online to get advice or share their concerns about a child, anonymously if they wish. You can reach it on 0808 800 5000.
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