YouTube controversy front of mind

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author: ethan butterfield | a&c editor 

Where the service belongs.

The major media platform is in hot water again.

What the fuck YouTube? What the actual fuck? Jesus, before it was the Logan Paul thing and now this. I’ll be the first to say it, if YouTube doesn’t get their act together, then they’re going to be facing far worse backlash than they already are. Honestly, being the major media sharing platform that YouTube is, it feels like there’s really no excuse for this shit. With that in mind, let’s dive into the actual controversy at hand so that you can understand why I’m fuming right now. A word of warning beforehand, however. There will be some shocking material mentioned, so just make sure to watch out for it going forward.
So if you haven’t heard, YouTube is in hot water again (as I’m sure you could make out from my ramblings above). The reason this time? Allowing the development of a child exploitation comment/link sharing ring. An article written by Julia Alexander of The Verge describes what has occurred on YouTube over the past few days: 

“Advertisers and creators have responded to the issue over the past couple of days following a video highlighting the issue that gained widespread attention. The video, from Matt Watson, demonstrated how searching terms like “bikini haul,” which features women modeling different swimsuits they’ve purchased, can lead to videos of children that feature predatory messages in the comment sections. Since the video has come out, companies including Epic Games, Nestlé, and Disney have pulled ads from the platform. Other companies like Grammarly and Peloton have asked YouTube to investigate further.” 

Now, after the issue had been made clear to YouTube, the organization did take some proper steps to deal with things. First, they’ve deleted somewhere around 400 channels and a few million comments so that they can at least clean up the mess that’s out there, before focusing on updating safety procedures. And, second, they’re working with the federal law, which shows that they want to cooperate on the issue.
Despite the aggressive response from YouTube on the issue at hand, it still leaves me to wonder what’s going on over there at HQ? I understand that the algorithms YouTube has in place are a big part of how this issue came to be, but I feel as though there’s something else going on here. Maybe it’s because this isn’t the first time this issue has happened.
Back in 2017, there was another problem that arose in regard to YouTube and child exploitation. In an article by Global News, Rebecca Joseph had this to write about the situation: 

“In a blog post that went live Wednesday afternoon, the video-sharing site announced five ways it was strengthening guidelines to stop perverse videos that are trying to pass as family-friendly. The update to the rules have come after months of speculation on videos aimed at kids that show questionable content – for example one that featured a character similar to Peppa pig, whose teeth are pulled out at the dentist as crying is heard…” 

Not all the videos under scrutiny that contain possible child exploitation are aimed at children. Some have pre-roll advertisements for brands such as Michael Kors, suggesting the targeting of an older audience; many videos had user comments that were pedophilic in nature.” 

I honestly don’t know what to say other than YouTube needs to get its head out of its ass and shape up. If this has been a problem for at least two years now, then something needs to give. . 

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