YouTube efforts to protect children by turning off comments



YouTube decided to extend the block to those with older minors in an effort to curb predatory behavior on its site after starting the process of disabling comments on videos featuring young minors on its platform last week.

YouTube said it has suspended comments over the past week from tens of millions of videos that posed risks to such behaviour. The extension, which will cover kids up to the age of 18, will be implemented in the coming months.

“These types of videos will be enabled by a small number of creators,” YouTube said in a blog post. “In addition to using our moderation tools, these channels will be required to actively moderate their comments and demonstrate a low risk of predatory behaviour.”

YouTube said it would work directly with creators to increase the number over time as it enhances their ability to catch inappropriate comments. The Alphabet-owned company is also launching a new classifier of comments that will identify and remove predatory comments, with YouTube promising twice as many comments to be detected and consequently removed.

YouTube also said it intends to take action on creators who are causing the community “egregious harm.” “No form of content that endangers minors on YouTube is acceptable, which is why we have stopped some channels trying to endanger children in any way,” the blog continued. “Videos encouraging harmful and dangerous challenges targeting any audience are also clearly against our policies.

We will continue to take action when creators violate our policies in ways that blatantly harm the wider user and creator community.” YouTube has classified the following as harmful content: sexualization of minors, which includes sexually explicit content featuring minors and contents. If content breaches the policy of YouTube, it will be removed and the creator will receive an email.

There will be a warning for a first offense, with no penalty. The channel will be terminated once three strikes have been scaled. Last week, YouTube had already started limiting the monetisation of minors-including videos, with those flagged as at risk receiving limited or no advertisements, and made known by using a yellow icon.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.