As YouTube distorts to cope with a network of child exploitation in the comment field on the platform, some creators have expressed concern about what will happen if the videos are demonized among the advertiser's extracts and crackdowns on content. The Verge reported on Friday that a tweet from the Team YouTube account sent the creators further spiral after the company announced an action that received "inappropriate comments."
"Over the last few days, we have taken a number of steps to better protect the YouTube community from content that changes minors," the account tweeted . "Regarding the actions we've taken, even if your video is suitable for advertisers, inappropriate comments may cause your video to be limited or no ads."
Advertisers began to deduct advertising expenses from the site after YouTuber Matt Watson shared a video Sunday that highlighted the methods used by apparently pedophiles in video comments to exploit children, including sharing contact information, inappropriate video subtitles, and timing of particular parts of the videos. Unlike losing large advertising clients such as Nestlé, Epic Games and Hasbro, YouTube has taken utmost action to ensure that ads do not appear on content that may be a magnet for bad actors.
A YouTube spokesman said it has limited ads on videos that could put young people at risk for this type of predator activity via comments. YouTube also closes comments from millions of videos of minors to curb the problem at the moment.
For creators whose videos include their children for example, limited ads or demonized videos may be a problem. Some creators tweeted they felt they were punished for comments beyond their control. Others are worried that YouTube's temporary system might be abused by misguided commentators who want to turn up creators over.
"Although the creators of these videos may not have done anything wrong, we go beyond our existing short-term protection on content that may include or interfere with minors," YouTube added on a Friday blog about the changes. "Our goal is to protect creators and the broader ecosystem while improving our systems."
In addition to the aforementioned changes, a YouTube spokesman said earlier this week that the company removed hundreds of accounts related to individuals who left what the company experienced as being the annoying comments on videos of minors. YouTube also reports illegal comments to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to work with law enforcement.
"Any content – including comments – that challenges minors is abominable, and we have clear guidelines that prohibit this on YouTube," a YouTube spokesman said in a statement. "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 is more to do and we continue to work to improve and capture abuse more quickly."  [The Verge]