Following concerns raised by a video blogger about pedophiles using YouTube to trade information, a number of major firms have announced that they will be removing their ads from the platform.
Among them is Nestle, which owns a number of brands, including KitKat; Epic Games, which owns various games, including the extremely popular “Fortnite”; and major food manufacturer, Dr Oetker.
In the 20 minute video released by video blogger Matt Watson, he drew attention to the growing number of “soft-core pedophilia rings” using YouTube to circulate clips of underage girls and communicate with each other.
For instance, some videos had been shared of girls performing dance, yoga, or gymnastics. Even though the original video content appeared to have been posted innocently, some users had made inappropriate comments.
He also pointed out that, some of the videos posted on the platform included ads for some of the world’s biggest brands, including Disney. The video has been viewed around 1.9 million times since it was posted on Sunday.
Further to this, Nestle announced its decisions to suspend its advertising on the platform, after being made aware of the fact that “inappropriate comments were being made” on some videos.
Additionally, Epic Games has echoed this approach and has “paused all pre-roll advertising”. The company, which owns Fortnite, urged YouTube to “determine actions they’ll take to eliminate this type of content from their service.”
In a statement, a Nestle spokesperson said: “We have received reassuring information from Google on temporary actions being taken and will revise our decision upon confirmation of those actions and our investigation being completed.”
A spokesperson for YouTube said the company has taken “immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting illegal activity to authorities and disabling comments on tens of millions of videos that include minors. There’s more to be done, and we continue to work to improve and catch abuse more quickly.”