YouTube paedophile investigation deepens

10-year-old Chrissy and her BFF Ella (not their real names) loved splashing around in the backyard pool. They also loved having a YouTube channel. And they really loved it when they saw their latest video of themselves had racked up 400,000 views.

Chrissy’s mum Christiane was confused. How on earth ...? she wondered. And then she watched the video again - and the horrifying truth started to dawn.


As would be later verified by experts, YouTube’s automated recommendation system - the one that suggests what users should view next - was showing Chrissy’s backyard video to users who had a pattern of watching videos of partially clothed children.

According to a New York Times investigation, “YouTube had curated the videos from across its archives, at times plucking out the otherwise innocuous home movies of unwitting families…. In many cases, its algorithm referred users to videos after they watched sexually themed content.

The result was a catalog of videos that experts say sexualises children.”

In February, YouTube disabled comments on many videos featuring children - in response to reporting that showed the comments section was a magnet for predators.

But the recommendation system - the main engine driving the platform’s billions of views - has remained in place.

Times investigators alerted YouTube that its algorithm was circulating home movies to viewers with a track record of sexual interest in children - and in response the company removed several videos “but left up many others, including some apparently uploaded by fake accounts.”

In many cases, its algorithm referred users to videos after they watched sexually themed content. The result was a catalog of videos that experts say sexualises children.”

YouTube’s product director for trust and safety told the Times “Protecting kids is at the top of our list.”

But it has refused to turn off the recommendation system on videos of kids - even though it can identify this content automatically. It maintained that changing the system would hurt “creators” who rely on clicks.

Keeping on top of the latest trends in your child's digital world can be a full-time job. Family Zone is here to help. Our uniquely holistic approach to online safety integrates state-of-the-art parental controls with timely updates and advice from leading cyber experts. 
 
Tell me more!

Topics: Parental Controls, youtube, online predators

    Try Family Zone for FREE

    Sign up now to try Family Zone for 1 month, totally free of charge.

    Free Trial
    Subscribe to our newsletter
    Follow us on social media
    Popular posts
    Parental Controls | Cyber Safety | Cyber Experts | parenting | roblox
    Roblox: What parents must know about this dangerous game for kids
    Parental Controls | Screen time | online gaming | roblox | sleep
    Family Zone: Now blocking Roblox with a single click
    Parental Controls | online gaming | Social Media | primary school | krunker
    Krunker has landed - and it's got our kids in the crosshairs
    Parental Controls | Mobile Apps | Cyber Safety | teens on social media
    Can we talk? 100 questions your teen might actually answer
    Parental Controls | Screen time | teens on social media | wellbeing | dating app
    Swipe right for trouble: Six teen dating apps parents need to know about
    Parental Controls | Screen time | online gaming | Fortnite | discord
    Discord: What parents need to know

    Recent posts

     
    Keeping it kind on social media: A primer for parents

    Good behaviour on social media isn’t an instinct - it’s a skillset. Let’s help our kids acquire it by first examining our own sharing ...

     
    'Internet Banging': When peer pressure goes viral

    ‘Internet banging’ is triggering a wave of violence in schools and the wider community. Find out what it is, and how it works. 

     
    Three telltale signs your child needs a screen-time circuit breaker - now!

    Experts no longer recommend managing screen-time strictly by the clock. So what should you be doing instead?

     
    Everything you always wanted to know about TikTok ...

    It’s the biggest online phenomenon of the year - possibly of any year. It’s also been plagued with controversy over explicit content and ...