Several major companies, including Disney and Nestle, have pulled their advertising spending from YouTube after reports of a paedophile network openly operating in the comments sections of monetised YouTube videos of children, Bloomberg reports.
The news outlet cited several unnamed sources as saying that video game maker Epic Games Inc. and the German packaged food giant Dr. August Oetker KG have also suspended advertising on YouTube due to the reports.
“We have paused all pre-roll advertising. Through our advertising agency, we have reached out to Google/YouTube to determine actions they'll take to eliminate this type of content from their service”, Epic said in a statement on Thursday.
A YouTube spokeswoman declined to comment on any specific advertisers, but said in a statement that “any content, including comments, that endangers minors is abhorrent and we have clear policies prohibiting this on YouTube”.
She added that Google’s video site had already taken “immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting illegal activity to authorities and disabling violating comments”.
Most Twitter users have, meanwhile, expressed outrage about the report on the paedophile network.
Oh my— Quaniix 🎮🎉 (@Quaniix) 20 февраля 2019 г.
The worst part is that he is also doing it himself. Just shows you what people do for attention and ruining Youtube.— Wheeler428Alt (@WheelerYTube) 20 февраля 2019 г.
Flag the offending videos and comments as inappropriate— Lydia Kravitz (@LadyBleach) 20 февраля 2019 г.
Really? hum, there sure is a lot of it on there, about time they started cleaning it up.— Harvey Meade (@harvey_meade) 21 февраля 2019 г.
that’s sick, yuck.— carematters (@livescare) 21 февраля 2019 г.
They dont have resources to stop pedophiles but somehow they manage to de-platform conservatives. Amazing. Perhaps if they let conservatives monetize their content again, YouTube could hire some people to stop the pedo's.— Scott Braden (@scottbradentx) 20 февраля 2019 г.
Pull off the plug Google.— Benoît Clariana-Roig (@Benoit_CR) 20 февраля 2019 г.
YouTube has turned into a cesspool. It’s inexcusable.— Prosediva™ (@prosediva) 21 февраля 2019 г.
In 2017, a spate of major advertisers, including Procter & Gamble Co. and AT&T Inc., pulled their spending from YouTube amid reports of ads on the Google media website related to extremist and violent content. Additionally, YouTube has repeatedly been criticised for hosting inappropriate video content meant for children.