Pedos pollute YouTube comments on kids’ videos, advertisers flee

A YouTube content creator has found what he calls a “wormhole” that, within as few as five clicks away from vanilla sites, could lead to a “soft-core pedophilia ring” where pedophiles are connecting with each other in the comments sections of innocuous videos featuring children.

That content creator is Matt Watson, also known as MattsWhatItIs, who posted a video of his finds on Sunday.

As of Thursday afternoon, the video had been viewed more than two million times.

In it is a collection of clips, many of them innocent, that show kids doing things like gymnastics, stretching, playing Twister, or simply hanging out with friends – nothing that would get the videos blocked by content filters.

Other videos show flashes of exposed genitals, or feature children – most of them girls – doing the splits or lifting up their tops to show their nipples.

According to Wired, some of the children appear to be as young as five. Many of the videos have been seen by hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of viewers, and they have hundreds of comments.

Those content streams are filled with lechery: for example, a timestamp on one comment about “she’ll make a great mother some day” jumps to a picture of a child’s bare legs.

Other remarks praise the children, jump to points in the video that picture children’s legs or buttocks, ask whether they’re wearing underwear, or simply insert strings of sexually suggestive emojis.

Watson found that child oglers are sharing their social media contact details in the comments. Most disturbing of all are the links to actual child abuse imagery he uncovered.

Watson criticized YouTube for monetizing these videos: he called out major brands, including McDonald’s, Lysol, Disney, Reese’s, Dodge Ram, and Maybelline, among many others.

Kiss those ad dollars goodbye

Many of the advertisers identified in Watson’s video and in Wired’s subsequent report – among them Epic Games and GNC – said they’ve suspended advertising on YouTube.

Bloomberg News on Wednesday reported that the Walt Disney Company has also pulled its ads, as has Nestle SA.

Chi Hea Cho, a spokeswoman for YouTube’s parent company, Google, told the New York Times that the pedophiles’ comments and actions are “abhorrent.”

Any content – including comments – that endangers minors is abhorrent and we have clear policies prohibiting this on YouTube. There’s more to be done, and we continue to work to improve and catch abuse more quickly.

She said that the company took “immediate action” by deleting over 400 YouTube channels because of comments that they’d left on videos.

YouTube also disabled comments on tens of millions of videos featuring minors, removed thousands of inappropriate comments on videos with young people in them, and reported illegal comments to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

from Naked Security – Sophos