Nestle Pulls Its Ads From YouTube: It Has To Do With YouTube's Algorithm That Throws Up Child Porn
Logo of Google's video platform YouTube | (Photo credit: wikimedia)

Toronto, February 22: Nestle has pulled its ads from YouTube after a viewer highlighted that the video comments section was being used as a “wormhole into a softcore paedophile ring.”

A YouTube viewer named Matt Watson while watching a video of children performing acrobatic acts realised that the comments section was being populated with links that lead to videos showing children in objectionable positions. “Paedophiles are trading social media contacts; they’re trading links to actual child porn in YouTube comments; they’re trading unlisted videos in secret, and YouTube’s algorithm through some glitch in its programming is facilitating their ability to do this,” he said in a video to raise awareness about the issue. Read: PewDiePie Defeats T-Series As Most Popular Channel After YouTube Deletes Spam Subcribers

These videos also had comments that shared tips on when to pause the videos to take compromising still images of the children along with sexually-offensive comments. These videos featured ads by brands like Nestle, Disney and Fortnite which has led Nestle to remove its ads from YouTube after the issue was brought to light.

This raises the question of YouTube’s algorithm which uses viewer behaviour to show them similar content. It also raises a question of YouTube’s ability to monitor content  on its platform and being able to ensure that an advertiser’s message does not get distorted or does not appear alongside inappropriate content such as hate speech or terrorism-propaganda videos.

A YouTube spokesman addressed the issue: “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 comments on tens of millions of videos that include minors. There’s more to be done, and we continue to work to improve and catch abuse more quickly.”