STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

YouTube Suspends Comments on Videos of Kids

YouTube said Thursday it will turn off comments on nearly all videos featuring kids — potentially affecting millions of posts on the site — after reports last week that pedophiles were leaving inappropriate comments on innocuous videos of children.

Posted: Feb 28, 2019 4:09 PM

RACHEL LERMAN , AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — YouTube said Thursday it will turn off comments on nearly all videos featuring kids — potentially affecting millions of posts on the site — after reports last week that pedophiles were leaving inappropriate comments on innocuous videos of children.

The change comes as YouTube grapples with moderating content across its platform as concerns about hate speech, violence and conspiracy theories continue to plague it.

It will take YouTube several months to disable comments on all videos featuring minors, the company said. It already started the process last week when it turned off comments from tens of millions of videos.

Advertisers including Nestle, AT&T and Fortnite-maker Epic Games pulled ads from YouTube last week after the inappropriate comments about children were unearthed by a popular YouTuber and media reports. At least one company, Nestle, was satisfied with YouTube's response and reinstated ads late last week.

A small number of channels which have videos featuring kids will be allowed to keep comments turned on. But they must be known to YouTube and must actively monitor the comments beyond the standard monitoring tools YouTube provides.

Turning off comments on such a large number of videos seems an "extreme reaction," said eMarketer analyst Paul Verna. But the issue involves the safety of children, so it makes sense YouTube would want to act quickly, he said.

Comments aren't the main focus of the video-publishing site, but turning them off will likely diminish the experience for many users and video creators, he said.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki acknowledged the concerns Thursday, tweeting, "Nothing is more important to us than ensuring the safety of young people on the platform."

The company said it has also released an updated version of its automated moderating system that it expects will identify and delete two times as many inappropriate comments.

YouTube, like Facebook, Twitter and other sites that allow user publishing, have faced increasing calls to monitor what appears on their sites and get rid of unsuitable content. The companies all say they have taken action to protect users. But issues keep popping up.

Concerns about YouTube comments weren't even a top priority for advertisers and viewers a couple weeks ago, Verna said.

"It just makes you wonder, what's the next thing that going to happen?"

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 10605

Reported Deaths: 220
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah258070
Marion168350
Washington164520
Clackamas87725
Umatilla7926
Union3611
Lincoln3464
Lane2433
Malheur2231
Deschutes2210
Polk16612
Linn15710
Yamhill1559
Jackson1520
Jefferson1360
Klamath1311
Morrow1091
Benton975
Hood River970
Wasco961
Josephine591
Clatsop540
Douglas540
Coos460
Columbia440
Lake220
Tillamook150
Crook140
Wallowa110
Curry80
Baker50
Sherman30
Gilliam10
Grant10
Harney10
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 284012

Reported Deaths: 6573
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1207643582
Riverside21101506
Orange18892369
San Diego17578399
San Bernardino15932272
Imperial7343121
Alameda6925140
Fresno692481
San Joaquin560058
Kern554384
Santa Clara5478165
Tulare5175139
Sacramento456676
Contra Costa409286
San Francisco402050
Ventura385850
Santa Barbara374230
San Mateo3692111
Marin298926
Stanislaus288945
Kings275537
Monterey223917
Solano182627
Merced162311
Sonoma146612
Placer93811
San Luis Obispo8082
Yolo72326
Madera7137
Santa Cruz5013
Napa4484
San Benito2922
Butte2753
Sutter2753
Lassen2670
El Dorado2640
Shasta1635
Humboldt1544
Nevada1511
Glenn1460
Yuba1392
Lake981
Tehama941
Mendocino920
Colusa860
Calaveras610
Del Norte581
Tuolumne570
Mono481
Amador340
Inyo341
Siskiyou320
Mariposa311
Plumas130
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 82°
Brookings
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 75°
Crater Lake
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 77°
Grants Pass
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 82°
Klamath Falls
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 77°
Warming up the rest of the week
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events