YouTube’s Promise to Disable Comments on the Videos with Young Kids not fulfilled yet

Recently, a pedophile incident urged YouTube to take an action against the comments posted on the videos featuring young kids, especially 13-year-old or younger than them. Even though, YouTube has promised to take this step still the comments are still enabled on several videos.

YouTube has been charged for a penalty of $170 million for breaching the privacy of kids. As a result of this, YouTube announced that they will be resetting their algorithms along with disabling comments, banning ads and notifications on kid’s content.

One can still easily find videos related to young kids with comments-enabled section. For a single YouTube search of “pretend play” shows around 100 videos on which the comments are still enabled.

On account of such videos, CNET contacted YouTube and showed them the list of such videos with an enabled comments section. The videos included infants, young children and preschoolers in it. YouTube took action and disabled comments on almost half of these videos.

The spokesman of YouTube Ivy Choi has stated that, “YouTube has suspended comments from millions of videos that featured young children in risky situations. We have put a classifier that helps us to remove inappropriate comments from the comments section. Through this classifier, we are continuously engaged in disabling comments from these videos everyday.”

YouTube was penalized for gathering kid’s data without the consent of parents. Apart from it, YouTube also face scandals related to child abuse and exploitation that were found in YouTube’s kid’s content. The scandal of managing children’s content has been the most crucial one that YouTube has ever faced.

Many videos with young kids show comments including predatory links in them. On clicking the link, the kid will dive into another world and YouTube’s recommendation algorithm will further pull them into the dark web. Due to this reason, YouTube took the action of removing and disabling comments from the comments section from videos with minors in them.

Even after six months of claiming to disable comments, CNET still found videos involving young kids with active comments section. One video among them included 1,750 comments with millions of views, whereas, some did not have a single view. Many videos consisted of young girls wearing bathing suit or diaper that could lead to soft core pedophilia.

Among the list of 100 videos with active comments section by CNET, YouTube successfully disabled comments on almost 48 of them including the video with 1,750 comments. Even though most of the comments on the videos are usually feedbacks about toys or emojis, however, there is still a chance of violative comments.

There are many videos on YouTube involving young girls doing modeling in bikinis or swimsuits. These videos have dozens of comments on them. The search for “teen bikini haul” will reveal several young girls’ videos and one with 75 comments. One of the comment was “show your uncensored sweet tushy”, whereas, others were “whats the point of a try-on haul if you don’t show your butt??” and “You’re not nude, and you wear these in public right..?? good grief…waste of bandwidth.”

The issue is that no matter what YouTube does, it will still not make the situation perfect. YouTube is investing in improving their algorithms, but an algorithm can never judge if there is a kid behind an adult’s profile or similar issues. There has to be a human process to assist the whole situation, without which it is nearly impossible to make YouTube’s kid app free from such derogatory and inappropriate comments.

Photo: Anatoliy Sizov / Getty Images

Read next: The creators of YouTube will also be held responsible for violations of Children’s privacy
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