retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Washington Post reported that a number of brands, including Disney and Nestlé, pulled their advertising from YouTube after it came to light that “comments and recommendations on the platform direct users to potentially sexual videos of children, allowing them to participate in a ‘soft-core pedophile ring’.”

The story says that “YouTube on Thursday cracked down on pedophilic content on the site by purging comments on tens of millions of videos … YouTube also terminated more than 400 channels on Thursday that posted the comments on videos featuring children.”

The Post writes that the inappropriate content was pointed out by a video blogger: “In a video that has been viewed nearly 2 million times since its release Sunday, video blogger Matt Watson detailed how users who visit YouTube for bikini shopping videos can eventually be nudged to watch videos featuring young girls. After clicking on several bikini videos, YouTube’s recommendation engine suggests that users watch videos with minors, Watson said.

“The videos are not sexual in nature — they involve children talking to the camera, performing gymnastics or playing with toys, but they are interpreted by users in inappropriate ways. The comments on the videos include hyperlinked time stamps, Watson said, allowing users to jump to moments when the girls are in compromised positions; in other instances, users posted sexually explicit comments about the children.”
KC's View:
Disgusting, and brands have no choice but to quickly and publicly distance themselves from the problem. What’s interesting is how insidious it all is … it is all achieved via a variety of links that take people deeper and deeper into this content, where young people are being exploited and abused.

It demonstrates the degree to which companies like YouTube have to be vigilant about and responsible for their content.