YouTube Highlights Video Policies Meant to Protect Minors

FBI Supervisory Special Agent Stacey Bradley and Special Agent

Three researchers from Harvard's Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society found that going through YouTube's recommendations for "sexually themed videos", such as videos of women talking about sex, led them to videos that "placed greater emphasis on youth" until eventually, "YouTube would suddenly begin recommending videos of young and partially clothed children", the Times reports.

YouTube is taking additional steps to restrict the possibility that children will be targeted by predators on the video platform - including banning young kids from live-streaming with adult supervision.

In the blog published Monday, YouTube said that it terminates accounts belonging to people under 13 when discovered, and that it terminates thousands of accounts per week.

This is not the first time YouTube has acted to protect kids, the popular video app has previously launched the "YouTube Kids" platform especially for kids which streams videos that are children friendly, and the app is also easy to use.


Earlier this year, YouTube removed over 400 channels and deleted more than 800,000 videos that promoted content in violation of the site's child safety policies-some videos were taken down before they even reached 10 views. "Channels not in compliance with this policy may lose their ability to live stream".

"We updated enforcement of our live streaming policy to specifically disallow younger minors from live streaming unless they are clearly accompanied by an adult", the blog post said.

New technology the company implemented is helping keep comments sections safe, too - YouTube says its new classifier has helped remove twice the number of violative comments. "Creators rely on recommendations to drive traffic, they said, so would stay on".

"While the content itself does not violate our policies, we recognise that minors could be at risk of online or offline exploitation". Commenting has been disabled for about "tens of millions of videos" on YouTube. "Kids and families deserve the best protection we have to offer: We're committed to investing in the teams and technology to make sure they get it". The video sharing platform will also automatically disable comments on videos featuring minors and reduce recommending videos featuring minors in risky situations.

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