Monday, 27 November 2017 06:26

Sexualised kids' clips appear next to YouTube ads Featured

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A number of well-known brands have pulled their advertisements from YouTube after a report in The Times said the site was showing clips of scantily clad children alongside the ads.

Among the brands to remove ads were Mondelez, Lidl, Mars and other consumer products manufacturers.

A Reuters report said hundreds of paedophiles had posted comments below the videos, which appeared to have been uploaded by the children.

It quoted the report as saying that one clip, of a pre-teenage girl in a nightie, had attracted 6.5 million views.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, was said by The Times to have allowed sexualised imagery of children to be easily found on the video-sharing platform.

Earlier this year, YouTube was found to be displaying advertisements from major manufacturers on videos that contained anti-Semitic, sexist, racist, and terrorist content.

A number of advertisers pulled their ads, but most have now gone back to the platform. AT&T is one company that has not returned to YouTube.

While Google does not provide a breakdown in its results of how much YouTube earns, Reuters said that the platform would provide about US$7.8 billion in worldwide ad revenue this year.

It quoted the chocolate maker Mars as saying: “We have taken the decision to immediately suspend all our online advertising on YouTube and Google globally.

“Until we have confidence that appropriate safeguards are in place, we will not advertise on YouTube and Google.”

Diageo, the maker of Smirnoff vodka and Johnnie Walker whisky, said it was investigating the matter and would suspend all YouTube advertising until safeguards were in place.

Germany discount retailer Lidl said it was “completely unacceptable that this content is available to view, and it is, therefore, clear that the strict policies which Google has assured us were in place to tackle offensive content are ineffective”.

HP was among the companies to suspend advertising globally.

A spokesman for the UK Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports said: “The government expects online platforms to have robust processes in place and to act promptly to remove content and user accounts that do not comply with their own policies.”

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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