Tech

Disney is the latest to pull YouTube ads after child exploitation discovery

Disney is the latest to pull YouTube ads after child exploitation discovery

It's now unknown when, or even if, Epic Games will reinstate their Fortnite pre-roll adverts.

Nestle, McDonald's and other major companies have yanked their ads from YouTube over concerns that pedophiles allegedly used certain videos on the platform to trade information and bring attention to young girls in the comments section. Earlier this week, a viral video created by YouTuber Matt Watson that pointed out how simple it is to find videos of underage girls in compromising and sexually explicit positions, caused massive commotion on Twitter. They are mostly innocent videos of young girls playing, doing exercises in their family home, or taking part in gymnastics.

"We have paused all pre-roll advertising", an Epic rep told The Verge.

"We took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting illegal activity to authorities and disabling violative comments", a YouTube spokesperson told The Verge.

"There's more to be done, and we continue to work to improve and catch abuse more quickly", the YouTube spokesperson added.

In mid-2017, a wave of advertisers fled YouTube after ads for Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper and other major brands were being shown in front of videos full of inappropriate content and hate speech.

Watson's video has been viewed almost 2 million times since he posted it a few days ago, and YouTube is on the defensive. AT&T, which just recently started advertising on YouTube again after a two-year boycott, has pulled its ads as well.

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YouTube has promised the companies involved that they will refund all ad spend that appeared on the videos and channels affected by this decision, which amounted to less than $8,000 in total.

At the time, those companies also pulled ads amid the controversy.

A video blogger this week published a report on YouTube documenting how comments and recommendations on the platform direct users to potentially sexual videos of children, allowing them to participate in a "soft-core pedophile ring", according to the report.

This comes after DeFranco posted a video talking about YouTube's "predator problem".

Almost a dozen different companies have terminated or paused their ads on YouTube. CNBC reports advertising giant Peloton and Grammarly, who regularly advertises on YouTube for its grammar software, revealed their displeasure with the revelation and are calling for YouTube to take action.

Disney has also suspended its advertising on the YouTube, according to Bloomberg.