WARNING: This story may be upsetting to some readers.
We recently wrote about how YouTube’s become a platform to condition and torment little kids with copy-cat content of a violent and sexual nature. The latest video we came across even featured anti-PC Filthy Frank, sharing suicide tips with kids.
Read the full video here: Moms and dads, the YouTube videos your kids are watching may be interrupted by suicide tips
Now, not only do you have to worry about the videos your kids are watching, but also the videos you post online of your family. Because sickos have been lurking on YouTube, watching your most cherished videos of your kids and getting their kicks in the comments section.
YouTuber Matt Watson recently posted a video in which he goes down a wormhole and investigates YouTube’s apparent exploitation of children, describing the platform as one where a “soft-core pedophile ring” is operating, by means of flooding videos of children with predatory comments.
One such practice comes in the form of trading contact information, providing links to child porn, sharing videos in secret and time-stamping specific places in a video where they may find a child in an inappropriate, compromising position.
Watch the video below:
Also read: Creepy #Elsagate: Why your kids should never watch YouTube unsupervised
Jeepers, what's going on with YouTube?
“This is f*cking disgusting. This is so wrong.” Those are Watson’s words – ours may be slightly more profane.
In his video, Watson shows how searching for something like “bikini haul” can lead you to inappropriate content after just two clicks. It’s that simple. Soon enough, through YouTube’s algorithm that identifies content you may be interested in seeing, you’ll have video after video of little girls waiting for you in the sidebar.
And that’s it. You’re in and YouTube will actually tailor your experience and feed you videos of the exact same kind.
These videos show younger tweens and teens, in what is probably just them in their awkward phase shooting a tutorial or making an innocent gymnastics video. But once you scroll down to the comments, you’ll see text that’s difficult to make out or in another language, compliments you just shouldn’t be paying young girls (“She’ll make a great mother some time”) or the more disturbing “WOW yaaa”, followed by three water droplet emojis. Yeah. You'll also find timestamps of exactly when in the video they gymnast happens to have her legs open or she’s licking a popsicle.
One Redditor working as an animator at a tech company shared his creepy story online. Brace yourself – this is a doosy.
He explained that he used to animate parts of videos – never a full video – of popular children’s characters. The company in itself was pretty creepy – we're talking restricted-access-to-doors and scary-emails-of-children-being-tortured-in-dark-rooms creepy. But it wasn’t until some months later when he saw his niece browsing YouTube videos online that he realised just how creepy the videos he was working on were. He recognised the parts that he edited, but once he saw the video in full he noticed they all had common themes of sex and violence.
“Creators want to normalise [these themes],” he tried to explain. “They want kids to be desensitised to sex and violence. Maybe even curious about them.”
But he continued, “The comments in the videos reveal that a lot of the viewers are adults, and fetishists. Perverts.”
“They really, really enjoy the videos of kids being kidnapped and tied up,” he explained, touching on something he encountered at the company he’d then already left. “They beg for more and offer to support via crowdfunding.”
“These videos are designed to groom children, and satisfy perverts.”
What is YouTube doing about all this?
To make matters worse, these videos are being monetised. That means YouTube is actually putting ads on these videos, and sharing in the profits with the channel creators.
Also read: Child experts: Just say 'no' to Facebook's kids app
Business Insider reported since the scandal broke, major advertisers such as Disney and Fortnite’s Epic Games have pulled advertising with the platform.
YouTube commented on a video posted by another user, Philip DeFranco, in which he defended the video platform's efforts:
“In the last 48 hours, beyond our normal protections we’ve disabled comments on tens of millions of videos. We've also terminated over 400 channels for the comments they left on videos, and reported illegal comments to law enforcement. There is more to be done and we are continuing to grow our team in order to keep people safe.”
UPDATE: @YouTube @YTCreators left a comment and provided an update on what they’ve done to combat horrible people on the site in the last 48 hours.— Philip DeFranco (@PhillyD) February 21, 2019
TLDR: Disabled comments on tens of millions of videos. Terminated over 400 channels. Reported illegal comments to law enforcement. pic.twitter.com/zFHFfkX9FD
YouTube also wrote, in 2017 already (yes, this saga’s been going on for quite some time), that they’re doing their utmost to ensure all inappropriate comments on videos of minors are removed, and they have an algorithm in place to identify when the need arises.
But, Watson points out, once a predator manoeuvres his way in, there’s just video after video of innocent little girls, with parents who have absolutely no idea what’s going on, "and not a damn thing is being done about it," he insists.
We know from past experience that once you report a video for having inappropriate content, YouTube doesn’t immediately remove it and more often than not, the same content just pops up on another channel. One of our readers, Claire Perry, also wrote in and flagged the fact that after she’d done the same, YouTube simply suggested she make use of the parental control.
That’s all good and well, YouTube, if only it actually worked and the same content wasn’t also popping up on YouTube Kids – the app you created to ensure a "safer and simpler" world for kids, specifically.
Have you come across anything disturbing in the comments section on YouTube? Do you put videos of your children at home or at school or at church on YouTube? Tell us and we may write about.